Governor Visits JMU

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

Gov. Mark Warner is touring the state this week to announce his plans for education reform. And among his stops on Thursday was on the campus of James Madison University.

"Now I believe we've got to make available to every person in Virginia a system of education that starts with pre-school and doesn't even end when you leave JMU," said Warner, discussing his "Education for a Lifetime" initiative in front of a crowd of JMU students and local officials.

"It goes throughout your whole working career."

Warner's plan has six major points:

  • Higher quality job care
  • A renewed commitment to accountability
  • Senior year reform
  • Improved teacher retention and recruitment
  • Increased economic development through higher education
  • Improved workforce development.

    He only unveiled the basics for his plan on Thursday. He plans on touring the state again later this year to discuss specifics.

    "As he said in his speech and I said in my introductory comments, I think it's important that everyone see education as a continuum from pre-school all the way through graduate school, and that we all do work together," comments JMU president Dr. Linwood Rose.

    The governor also wants to make improvements in state education more measurable.

    "This is all about not simply putting more money into education and hoping it produces a better quality education system," Gov. Warner says. "It's about investing in what I think are smart reforms that we're going to be able to see immediately whether they are paying off, whether they are increasing student achievement."

    The governor also announced that his next budget will include $525 million for the state's Standards of Quality for public schools. He said the money is needed just to maintain the state board of education's current standards.

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