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With all the mudslinging in the Virginia Gubernatorial race, it has been difficult to approach the main issues affecting Virginians lives. A few weeks back, Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli unveiled a twelve point plan to strengthen our children’s education from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade.
The plan’s essential goal seeks to offer all children, no matter their ethnic or socio-economic background, opportunities to learn and grow at the best schools Virginia has to offer. Specifically, the Attorney General seeks to:
1.) Review and Revise Virginia’s Standards of Learning that get so many complaints from teachers;
2.) Broaden K-12 exposure to science and technology, allowing students to learn how to “debug operating systems,” be introduced to robotics and 3D printing software and hardware. The Attorney General also believes that this point will lead to greater female involvement in the science and technology fields;
3.) Fresh teacher training and accountability;
4.) Expansion of digital learning that will allow successful teachers to teach more individualized subjects to children showing promise in a field, from around the region;
5.) Ensuring that Middle School Aged children are competent in a second language to compete in a global economy;
6.) Give greater block grants to school boards to fill in the blanks, rather than requiring authorization from Richmond;
7.) Allowing school districts greater flexibility to “act more like” charter schools in curriculum flexibility;
8.) Tax credits for low income families to take advantage of pre-school scholarships;
9.) A program to allow PARENTS, rather than administrators the power to reform a Virginia Board of Education certified “failing school” by providing parents the opportunity to choose a school that better meets the child’s academic needs with tax credits.;
10.) This would include a separate tax incentive program for school choice with failing schools;
11.) Transparency for parents that allow them to better judge reading and math scores in every individual school;
12.) A Constitutional Amendment to allow government aid to schools that include religious teaching. This could currently be restricted by the “Blaine” Amendment which bars “sectarian” schools from receiving the money of “sectarian” taxpayers. This amendment would also seek to stop local government schools from stopping the formation and approval of charter schools.
Much like universal healthcare was the “Holy Grail” of liberals for one hundred years, conservatives believe in school choice as a much needed measure to help all children obtain the best education that they can, help lower-income children be more inclined to financial and lifelong success and help America become the number one nation in education throughout the world again.
What makes this plan so grand is that the Attorney General believes that we can make our existing government schools better while also allowing school choice for parents who have little other option. Our children’s future shouldn’t be in the hands of teachers but in the hands of parents.
These moves would help empower parents to make decisions rather than politicians and bureaucrats and teachers. Even if the other issues between these two candidates didn’t matter, this plan alone is enough to vote for Ken Cuccinelli in November.
After all, it’s all about the children.