In the last sixty years, Virginia moved from a low-income, low-education state to one with a dynamic economy that is effective at attracting new businesses, great schools and a wonderful quality of life. I believe the key to this progress has been our ongoing commitment to expanding and improving educational opportunities in our Commonwealth. Despite a tough economy, my administration made education investments a priority because we knew the positive effect an educated workforce can have on an economy.
As Governor, I invested in every aspect of Virginia’s education system. I worked with the legislature to expand the number of children in pre-K by nearly 40%. I also championed and won passage of a $2 billion higher-ed bond package that is giving colleges and universities across the state the facilities they need to attract the best students and faculty. Our investments are paying off. During my tenure, Education Week voted Virginia the best state in which to raise a child, the percentage of Virginia students passing AP exams ranked third in the nation and our Latino elementary students were first in the nation on annual achievement tests.
Virginia has shown that investments in education pay dividends, and that is a lesson that I will take to Washington.