Thursday, April 23, 2009

Creigh's Opening Statement to VEA Forum

The following is some excerpts from Creigh's opening statement tonight to the VEA Gubernatorial Candidate Forum in Hampton, VA. I don't typically just provide comments like this sent by the campaign, but I thought these were pretty good because they get to the core of who I think Creigh is and why he is the right person to be our next Governor:
Of all the candidates to come before you today, no one is better prepared to be Virginia’s next education Governor than me.  My entire life has been about service—to the Commonwealth I cherish and to the family that I love. I’m running for Governor to continue serving by creating opportunity and prosperity and hope in every corner of Virginia.

I grew up the product of Virginia’s public schools and the grandson of two Virginia schoolteachers. My maternal grandmother spent more than 40 years in the classroom, retiring in 1964 from Rockbridge County schools having never earned a college degree.

It’s going to take a Governor who wakes up every day with an understanding of the challenges our teachers face in the classroom, and it’s going to take a Governor with a vision for keeping our children on the path to success to continue the progress we’ve made under Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. And it will take a leader who knows what it means to stay and fight for education.

No political campaign is more important than protecting education.  It’s why I refused to walk away from Tim Kaine and my colleagues in the Senate this year. It’s why I stood with the teachers and professionals in this room and demanded no permanent cuts to education.

“We need to build on what Mark Warner and Tim Kaine started by finally investing in universal pre-k education for every Virginia child.  We need to increase teacher pay to at least the national average because we can’t expect excellence, if we aren’t even willing to pay for average.  And we can’t expect to solve the challenges of tomorrow if we continue to fall behind the rest of the world in math and science.  That’s why we need to incentivize teachers to go into math and science education and we need those teachers to go into the toughest school districts.

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