Just like education “reform” governors in Wisconsin and North Carolina, Virginia gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli proposed education legislation today that would seek to disenfranchise community schools and privatize education.
Cuccinelli released a 12-point education plan to fund vouchers and charter schools with taxpayer dollars and make way for “parent trigger,” a law that has been exploited by private school corporations in other states.
“Mr. Cuccinelli’s plan deserves an ‘F’ for ignoring the needs of Virginia’s students while promising to funnel more public money to private interests at taxpayer expense,” said Virginia Education Association President Meg Gruber in response to Cuccinelli’s announcement.
This announcement follows his proposed tax plan that would cut an estimated $433 million each year from k-12 education funding.
“His latest proposals to divert money from public education will only add to the cuts students and teachers in public schools already face,” said Gruber. “Instead of taking resources away from public schools, we should be giving them greater support.”
Where schools are not succeeding, they need our support. Parents want high-quality public schools in their neighborhood, and we need to do what it takes to achieve that: it may be extra tutoring, targeted literacy programs, quality parent involvement programs or other research-backed practices. We must not abandon these high-needs schools, and that’s what Cuccinelli’s plan would do.
Cuccinelli has also proposed to amend the Virginia state constitution to make it easier for private schools to get public money. One amendment would make it easier for religious schools to get government funding, while another would allow the state to establish charter schools without approval from the district.
“Once again, instead of focusing on the issues that parents and communities care about, Cuccinelli puts politics first,” said Gruber. “What does Cuccinelli want to focus on? Vouchers, charter schools and changing Virginia’s Constitution to suit his extreme views. He’s not the right man to make important decisions about public education in Virginia.”