Richmond, Va.–The Virginia State Senate voted overwhelmingly today to pass through Governor Bob McDonnell’s education reform agenda. All three of the Governor’s measures to expand public charter schools and college laboratory schools, improve and promote virtual learning received strong bipartisan support.
McDonnell released the following statement:
“I applaud the Republicans and Democrats who came together today to help Virginia school children, especially those who are at-risk and disadvantaged, gain more educational opportunities. In the modern economy, education is the coin of the realm. Without a world-class education our young people will not be able to compete with their peers in the global marketplace. States that move proactively to bring innovation, competition and reform to their public schools are not only serving their young people well, they are improving their prospects for future economic prosperity and job-creation.
The effort to expand educational opportunity is one that reaches across party lines. The leading champion of this movement is President Barack Obama. Here in Virginia, the coalition supporting more educational opportunities for all our young people includes state Senators like Republican Steve Newman and Democrat Edd Houck, state delegates like Republicans Scott Lingamfelter, Dickie Bell and Chris Peace and Democrats Rosalyn Dance and Jennifer McClellan, as well as the VEA, the Virginia School Boards Association, and the Virginia Association of School Superintendents. Today’s passage of our ‘Opportunity to Learn’ education reform agenda means we will not tolerate a public school student in Virginia having her educational opportunities limited by her zip code. Steps like we have taken today will bring hope to our young people, new resources to our teachers, and help for our parents. These new reforms will also help greatly in submitting a vastly improved ‘Race to the Top’ grant application for billions of dollars in federal funds available for states that lead the way in education innovation.”