HARRISONBURG -- On Thursday, Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) made a stop at Harrisonburg High School for a kickoff event for the upcoming school year.
During his stop, Kaine spoke with teachers and staff from local schools and touched up on how public education has helped his family.
His visit came the same week Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli released his K-12 education policy.
In his plans, Cuccinelli called for more options, like charter and religious schools, to be offered to students at failing public schools. He also pushed for building on tax credits given to donors who provide scholarships to private schools, similar to vouchers, to low-income students.
When asked about the plans, Sen. Kaine remarked that the focus should instead be on what is being taught in classrooms across the state.
He says true progress will come by paying close attention to each individual student.
According to Kaine, more focus needs to be put on early childhood development. By doing so, schools can find out a student's learning disabilities at an earlier age.
Also, Kaine believes schools should raise awareness about options students have besides college. He pointed to the fact how Virginia offers four different high school degrees, from standard degrees to advanced technical degrees, as a sign the state is on the right path.
"As we look at policies like the Standards of Learning (SOL) and No Child Left Behind, make sure we're putting the focus on individual kid's strengths," he explained. "Career and technical education is very important. I think what makes the most sense, within the public school framework, is giving students choices so they can pick their own career path."
On top of the event at Harrisonburg High School, Sen. Kaine also made stops at the Rockingham County Fair and Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro on Thursday.
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