Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has picked Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate—and friends of career and technical education have reason to be pleased.
Kaine, who served as Virginia’s governor from 2006 to 2010, made an impact on the Every Student Succeeds Act, in fact, with respect to CTE. He introduced an amendment to a Senate version of the bill that eventually became ESSA that would have designated CTE as a “core subject.”
Although ESSA does away with the term “core subject,” the list of subjects that now make up a “well-rounded education” under the law includes CTE, along with 16 other subjects.
And Saturday, in his first official appearance as Clinton’s running mate, Kaine, the son of a welder, talked about his own experience as a career-tech educator. While serving as a Catholic missionary in Honduras, Kaine taught carpentry skills to the kids there. (They, in turn, taught him to speak Spanish, he said.)
Along with Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, Kaine also introduced the Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015. The bill would require secondary schools to teach students about “safe relationship behavior” and preventing sexual assault, among other issues. And after ESSA passed, he praised a provision that allowed states to use Title IV money to teach students about safe relationships.
Not too long before stepping aside as Virginia’s governor in 2010 (governors in Virginia are term-limited), Kaine ordered a review of minority students’ participation in gifted and talented programs. He responded to the economic downturn of eight years ago by proposing $340 million in education cuts in the state back in 2009, his last full year in office, for fiscal 2010.
His wife is Anne Holton, the secretary of education for Virginia—that’s a different position than the state superintendent, Steven Staples.
When he ran for Virginia governor in 2005, the centerpiece of his education platform was for the state to offer universal prekindergarten to all 4-year-olds in the state—however, that hasn’t come to pass. But in a statement released Friday, the National Education Association praised Clinton’s selection of Kaine, noting that Kaine did expand early education in Virginia, and also “championed” job training.
“The Clinton-Kaine ticket shares the same values that educators, students and working families want and expect of those aspiring to occupy the highest offices in America,” NEA President Lily Eskelsen García said in the statement.
And in introducing himself Saturday with Clinton, Kaine gave a lot of shoutouts to education. He talked about how his father-in-law, former Virginia Gov. Abner Lindwood Holton, a Republican, integrated schools in the Commonwealth, and how his wife was among the first to attend them. He spoke about how he and his wife sent their own kids to those same, integrated public schools.