We’ve made real progress through the leadership of Republicans in embracing the standards of learning. Yet we must do more. My wife teaches in a public school and my kids graduated from public school. I am committed to improving public education, but we must recognize that as long as there are forces that oppose reform, our efforts to make things better for our kids will be restrained. Therefore we must innovate, using market forces to encourage reform. That’s why I support tuition tax credits for families sending their kids to private and religious schools or electing to educate their children at home. It is time to move beyond “one-size-fits-all” education and see public, private, religious, and home schooling as a basket whickered neatly together to contain valid alternatives we can use to educate our children. It is time to stop the “bickering” and start the “whickering.”
Tuition Tax credits are a fair and simple way to offer educational choice to hard working Mom’s and Dad’s. The Virginia Educational Opportunity Act would have done that. But liberals fought that reform. It would not only have been largely revenue neutral, this act would have resulted in more money per pupil for public school students while reducing our crowded public school classrooms—getting our kids out of trailers—thereby helping to create a better teacher to student ratio. We can win reform for all parents by returning a conservative to Richmond to fight for educational reform. I will
- Promote a core value system for our children…the future leaders of our country.
- Support providing tuition tax credits and school choice initiatives, like Charter schools.
- Continue to improve Virginia’s Charter School Act in a bi-partisan effort and advance Charter school initiatives.
- Advance educational excellence through establishing relevant and clear standards of learning (SOL) while demanding feed-back mechanisms that make sure SOLs have “front-line teacher input” to ensure standards are high and doing what they are designed to do.
- Work to hold school systems accountable for their performance.
- Fight to ensure adequate funding for education that has a direct impact on quality teaching.