Education 2023: AIMEE ROGSTAD GUIDERA
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, RICHMOND
A proponent of charter schools who ran an education consultancy and a nonprofit organization that compiles national education data, Guidera was the first secretary appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who campaigned on parental rights in public education.
Guidera is responsible for leading the state’s public schools and has significant influence on its postsecondary institutions, including the Virginia Community College System. In 2022, the state began setting up K-12 “lab schools,” public, nonsectarian schools based at colleges and universities.
Guidera’s state Department of Education has been at the epicenter of partisan culture wars, with controversies erupting this year over what opponents see as anti-transgender state policies in public schools and history curriculum changes that some have criticized as whitewashing racism. Additionally, DOE used an incorrect budget formula that led school systems to believe they had $201 million more state funding over the next two fiscal years than was actually allocated. In the wake of that revelation, the former state superintendent of public instruction resigned in March.
A Maryland native, Guidera is an alumna of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program and a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Kennedy School.