Deeds Talks Education at NEA
By Cindy Long
Washington, D.C., July 27, 2009 -- Just two days after a heated debate with his opponent in Hot Springs, Virginia, Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia, cooled off at an ice cream social held at the National Education Association headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he spoke about his campaign and his plans for public education.
Deeds has an 18-year pro-public education voting record in the Virginia legislature, and was a strong supporter of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner’s 2004 budget, which increased state funding for public schools by $1.5 billion -- the largest single increase in Virginia history.
As part of his plan for education, Deeds supports increasing teacher pay, achieving universal preK in the state, and reducing class sizes. He also opposes the use of tuition tax credits and vouchers, which divert funds from public schools.
“You can’t expect excellence if you don’t even pay for average,” Deeds said. “We need to put more money into our public school system. We’ve got to invest more in education.”
The 2009 gubernatorial race is being closely watched in Virginia and around the country.It’s a contest some say could decide whether Virginia turns blue or remains red, and Deeds says he wants to “build on the momentum” created in the Old Dominion by Barack Obama, the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 44 years.
“We can’t let those who want to promote vouchers...get the momentum,” Deeds told the cheering crowd. “There is too much at stake.”
The Virginia Education Association's Fund for Children and Public Education is recommending the Bath County legislator for governor.
“He’s been a voice for Virginia’s students and educators and has worked tirelessly to maintain and strengthen the commonwealth’s public schools," said VEA President Kitty Boitnot. "We’re excited to back him, and look forward to his continued support and encouragement from him as governor.”