School Board Members, Education Advocates, and Former Students Endorse Atif Qarni– Championing an Educator in Congress

Today, Atif Qarni, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 10th Congressional, announced an education plan.

Mr. Qarni is the education candidate– he knows these issues better than anyone in the state, and we need an educator’s perspective in Congress badly.”

— Micayla Laws

MANASSAS, VIRGINIA, USA, December 14, 2023 / — Today, Atif Qarni, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 10th Congressional district and former Virginia Secretary of Education, announced an ambitious and comprehensive education plan that aims to transform the educational landscape and empower students.

Qarni received endorsements from former students, elected school board officials, education experts, educators, and parents. Qarni expressed his gratitude, saying, “It is truly awesome to receive support from individuals, who every day promote education. I am particularly moved by the endorsements from my former students – I am immensely proud of all their achievements.”

The plan, accessible at, focuses on addressing critical issues in our education system and ensuring that every student has access to quality education and support.

The highlights of the education plan include Universal Pre-K, Universal School Meals, fully funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), canceling student debt, and increasing teacher pay.

Supporters lauded the plan for its holistic approach to tackling education issues, showcasing their desire to have an educator elected to Congress.

“Mr. Qarni was one of my favorite teachers because he inspired me to excel in school and be the best version of myself. He really cares about his students. Now I am well on my way to finishing college. Through my journey, I have realized how important teachers and professors are in shaping and impacting the lives of many. Mr. Qarni has a vision and an education plan that demonstrates a deep understanding of the challenges students and educators face. This plan will pave the way for a brighter future for students like me and our community. Mr. Qarni is the education candidate– he knows these issues better than anyone in the state, and we need an educator’s perspective in Congress badly.”

-Micayla Laws, former student, Prince William County.

“I proudly support my friend and colleague, Atif Qarni. As the nation and local leaders consider legislation to invest more in early childhood education, we must focus on building a managed childcare system to support working families and children. As Secretary of Education, Atif collaborated with leaders to prioritize these investments, recognizing their future impact.”

-Dr. Myra Sawyers, childcare and early education advocate, Haymarket, VA.

“Educators need Atif Qarni in Washington because we know he’ll advocate for us. Investing in teacher training using title 2 funds can improve education quality and create a highly trained workforce to meet diverse student needs.”

-Lisa Zargarpur, School Board member, Prince William County, and Teacher, Fairfax County.

“The pandemic affected everyone’s mental health, particularly adolescents who face various challenges. Atif in Congress will champion a comprehensive mental health excellence package, including grants to strengthen mental health services at schools.”

-Rachel Kirkland, Former School Board member and parent, Manassas Park City Schools.

“My son is on the autism spectrum, and his education journey has become my central focus. As a super-involved parent and dedicated member of the school community, I’ve firsthand experienced the challenges of advocating for my son’s needed services. Unfortunately, this struggle is not unique to my family. Many parents and families face similar difficulties in advocating for their children with special needs. It’s disheartening to see the Federal Government’s inadequate support for the special education field and families with special needs children.

Congress must fulfill its promise and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This legislation is crucial to ensuring that all students with disabilities receive the support they need to thrive academically and socially. It is time for our elected officials to prioritize the education and well-being of these students by allocating the necessary funding.

In this fight for equitable education, I place my trust in my friend and colleague, Atif Qarni. He possesses a deep understanding of this issue and has shown a strong commitment to advocating for students with special needs. There is no doubt that he will lead the charge in championing for full funding of IDEA, ensuring that every child receives the quality education they deserve.”

-Justin Wilk, School Board member and parent, Prince William County Public Schools.

“The cost of living in Northern Virginia is very high. Secretary Qarni fought for a 15% increase in teacher pay, but salaries are still inadequate and not keeping up with the rising costs. Congress allocates only 10% of its budget to education, while localities like mine allocate over 50% of our budget. We need a teacher in Congress with a proven track record to advocate for increased education spending and fair salaries for our teachers.”

-Babur Lateef, School Board chair, Prince William County Public Schools.

“Nutrition is crucial for children’s health and academic performance. Secretary Qarni established a task force to address school nutrition by exploring farm-to-table options, inclusive choices for students with specific dietary needs, and partnerships with local businesses to provide better-quality meals. We need a Congress member who will advocate for redesigning the National School Lunch Program, making school meals universal and improving their quality. Students can’t learn on an empty stomach.”

-Harris Mahedavi, School Board member, Loudoun County Public Schools.

“Mr. Qarni, my daughter’s favorite teacher, was awarded Dale City Teacher of the Year. His students and colleagues nominated him for this prestigious honor. Known for his kindness and dedication, Mr. Qarni made a significant impact as Secretary of Education. He successfully secured the largest increase in state-based financial aid for college students. As a parent supporting three daughters in their college journey, I appreciate Mr. Qarni’s understanding of the real struggles faced by students and their families. He will champion college affordability, addressing student loan debt forgiveness and advocating for more affordable tuition, housing, and meals.”

-Monique Raulston, parent of a former student, Prince William County.

By announcing this education plan, Qarni aims to raise awareness and spark meaningful conversations about the importance of investing in education.

Atif Qarni
Qarni for Congress
+1 301-200-2095
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Originally published at

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