As you may know, I tend to be rather passionate about education, and I follow the subject very closely. This fall, there will be a very important gubernatorial election. Virginia's governors are limited by law to one term, so Governor Tim Kaine nor Governors Mark Warner, Jim Gilmore, or George Allen Jr. were able to take on a second term.
This year, Virginia has three Democratic candidates for the party's nomination. A June 9 primary will be held to determine their candidate. The Republican Party has one candidate with no challengers at this point.
Here's what I heard from each of them. I'm utilizing extreme paraphrasing.
Republican Bob McDonnell
I love teachers. Teachers should be paid more. I'm counting on the defined benefit Virginia Retirement System being there for me when I retire, but we don't owe new people in the profession that defined benefit. We need to look at merit pay for teachers. That's how we can pay teachers more. Public schools need to be supported, but parents need a choice. We also need to look at charter schools. I have a plan. Let me say again; I love teachers.
Democrat Brian Moran
90% of the 10% of college dropouts are 55% more likely to end up in prison with 3/4th of them failing to graduate. We need to pay teachers at the national average. I'm the son of a government teacher who didn't make any money. I oppose vouchers. Teachers should be paid at the national average. We need more record and less rhetoric with green jobs. No to the past and yes to the future and no to oil rigs and yes to the wind farms and no to coal power plants. We can't solve 21th century problems with 19th century ideas. I will fight the fight to win the fight to stand by you. I have a plan.
Democrat Creigh Deeds
My grandparents were teachers. They didn't have degrees, and they drew VRS checks of $110.00 a piece. I, I love teachers. George Allen was bad. I'll stand with you and draw a line in the sand for education (don't applaud or get excited...I only have three minutes). I have four children. My daughter has two years to go at Bath County High School. My children have gone to William and Mary, UVA, and JMU. Teachers need to be paid more. I have a plan. I'll be on your side.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe
I LOVE TEACHERS! I'M NOT A CARPETBAGGER. TEACHERS NEED TO BE PAID ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. I USED TO BE THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. I KNOW BILL CLINTON. HE'S MY FRIEND. GOSH I LOVE TEACHERS. WITHOUT TEACHERS I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'D DO. I HAVE A PLAN. IT'S ALL ABOUT JOBS. I WILL MAKE THEM. THESE JOBS WILL BE GOOD ONES AND WILL BE REAL. WHEN PEOPLE GET THESE JOBS THAT WILL LET OTHER PEOPLE MAKE THINGS THAT WILL MAKE MONEY THAT WE CAN TAX. SO I'LL TAKE THAT NEW MONEY THAT THEY MAKE AND PAY TEACHERS MORE! BECAUSE I H-E-A-R-T T-E-A-C-H-E-R-S-! I JUST GET EXCITED ABOUT THIS!
That's pretty much it. I would suggest that the thousands of people who check into this blog every day do some further checking and learn for yourself about each candidate.