Gubernatorial Candidates Present Ideas
4:24 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Candidate Cuccinelli Unveils Education Plan

If voters can wade through the scandals facing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe and his GOP rival, Ken Cuccinelli, they'll find substantive events where both candidates present ideas for the Commonwealth’s future. 

As Virginia Public Radio’s Tommie McNeil reports, each contender made big announcements Tuesday that they hoped would help put the issues marring their campaigns behind them.

Cuccinelli made the latest in a series of policy announcements —this one focusing on education. The Attorney General says students in disadvantaged areas are dropping out of school at an alarming rate. Others just aren't getting the same level of education as their peers. He wants to change that—in part, by empowering parents through four reforms.

"One, is to restart the school--to convert it to a charter school in place. The second, is closure--allowing students to attend better performing public schools. The third is reform to replace the leadership at the school and provide flexibility for reforms or changes right there at the school. And the fourth is school choice to provide opportunity scholarships to allow parents to enroll students in the public schools of their choice or tax credits to enroll in the private schools of their choice," he said.

Cuccinelli says it's time to rewrite the SOLs and provide incentives for teachers who excel.  In May, McAuliffe unveiled his education plan, which includes SOL reforms.  But on Tuesday the Democrat rolled out a biotech and innovation policy geared toward making it easier for researchers to bring their ideas to Virginia.

Meantime, during Cuccinelli's campaign stop in Richmond , the Attorney General played verbal dodgeball with reporters, refusing to answer questions about how his office handled gas royalties in Southwest Virginia.  That’s the subject of an investigation by Virginia’s Inspector General.

Critics say Cuccinelli’s office sided with and offered legal advice to energy companies attempting to cheat local landowners out of money they were due for gas drilling on their property.

You can hear the Attorney General's response to reporters in Richmond Tuesday.