Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and former Gov. Tim Kaine announced his education agenda Tuesday focusing on improving the educational system to focus on workforce development.
In addition to releasing his four-prong policy plan, Kaine unveiled a list of 140 education professionals from around the state calling themselves "Educators for Kaine."
“I am proud and grateful for the support of so many teachers from across the state who are charged with educating our young people. Over our history, Virginia has shown investments in education pay dividends and are critical to raising our platform for economic growth," Kaine said. “I am confident that by pursuing educational and workforce development strategies, we can ensure every child has access to a first-rate education and every worker has access to training programs that will prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. I am committed to working with parents, students, educators, and business owners to ensure we tap the best ideas to accomplish this goal.”
As released by his Kaine's four areas of areas of education policies for workforce development are as follows:
- Ensure Each Child Receives Personalized Instruction: As Senator, Kaine will support individualized learning plans and the resources and tools teachers need to best teach and prepare future generations.
- Revitalize Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education: As Senator, Tim Kaine will work with all stakeholders – educators, industry leaders, businesses, and parents – to develop comprehensive reform to STEM education, support efforts to offer STEM classes earlier, and raise existing standards. Kaine will also continue to encourage increased training and support for STEM teachers.
- Elevate the Importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE): Tim Kaine supports a Congressional Technical Excellence recognition for high-achieving students and necessary resources to bolster career and technical education through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
- Streamline Federal Workforce Development Programs: Tim Kaine supports efforts to make the workforce development system more transparent and simple, to increase its success, as well as to make sure there is clear accountability if goals are not met. In addition, Kaine will look for ways to support public-private partnerships to ensure workers are receiving the training that will prepare them for today’s available positions.
Kaine is running for the U.S. Senate against Republican candidate former U.S. Sen. and Former Gov. George Allen. Both are seeking to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb.
Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis said Kaine's education and workforce policy agenda announcement are a publicity stunt and "little more than an another attempt to rewrite his record of cutting education funding.”
“Tim Kaine made what he called ‘significant’ cuts to higher education that caused tuition increases of over 30 percent, making college less affordable for Virginia families and students," Davis said. "He proposed hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts for K-12 education, including a plan that would have blocked $120 Million in new funding for Northern Virginia schools.
“While Tim Kaine talks about setting priorities, George Allen actually made education a priority and has the record to prove it. George Allen made college more affordable by capping and freezing Virginia public college tuition and creating the Virginia Prepaid Education Program. He strengthened K-12 education by raising academic standards, prioritizing new teacher funding for smaller class sizes and advocating for parents to access a $1,000 annual education tax credit.”