State of the States
Warner Steers Clear Of New K-12 Changes
Virginia Gov. Mark Warner stressed how much his state has done for K-12 education in tight financial times, without recommending many expensive new school measures, in his State of the State Address on Jan. 12.
In his final year in office— Virginia is the only state that limits governors to a single term at a time—the Democrat called on the Republican-controlled legislature to use rising state revenues to help the state’s transportation system, restore reserve funds, and aid higher education.
Gov. Warner avoided budget recommendations for schools during the speech. Instead, he praised legislators for helping to accomplish good things in the state even while Virginia was reeling financially over the past three years.
“At a time when many states retreated from their commitment to education, we not only refused to cut K-12 support, but you approved record increases in state support for our public schools,” he said of last year’s special session, during which the legislature hiked sales taxes by a quarter-cent and raised $758 million in new aid for schools in the current biennium, which covers the 2005 and 2006 fiscal years.
Gov. Warner also plugged his high school initiative as the current chairman of the National Governors Association. He noted that President Bush had endorsed high school reforms as well during a speech in Fairfax County, Va., on the same day as the governor’s speech.
Vol. 24, Issue 20, Page 25