“I want Virginia to have the most innovative incentives to create the best school system in America.”

– Former Attorney General Bob McDonnell


As a father with two children currently enrolled in public schools, and three more who have already benefited from Virginia’s K-12 system, Bob McDonnell knows firsthand the importance of our Commonwealth’s education system. Bob will be focused on supporting parents and students, equipping principals with the tools they need, rewarding excellent teachers and principals with performance pay, improving financial accountability, getting more resources into the classroom, and making charter schools more accessible for Virginia’s children.

Virginia’s teachers work tirelessly to educate Virginia’s future leaders. Over the past twenty years we have significantly increased funding for K-12 education in Virginia, and our children have benefited. The Standards of Quality are fully funded. We cannot accept any unaccredited or failing schools in Virginia. We need to fund education well, while also looking for innovative and creative ways to ensure that our children are getting the very best education in the nation.

Every child in the Commonwealth must have an opportunity to be well educated and prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Virginia, and the rest of the nation, faces job shortages in critical areas such as engineers, health care professionals, teachers, technology specialists and scientists. These are the jobs of the 21st century; they are well paying professions, but they also require specialized education. We must do a better job of making our education system relevant to these specialized jobs so that our children are prepared, competitive and successful. It is no longer just about reading, writing and arithmetic – education must be relevant to the well paying and high demand jobs of the 21st century.

To read Bob’s full plan for education please visit here.

To read Bob’s plan for STEM and Career and Technical Education, please visit here.

To read Bob’s letter in support of more charter schools and performance pay, please visit here.

McDonnell/Bolling: Almost Half a Billion Dollars More Per Year for Virginia Teachers and Students

“Education Funding: In the Classroom, Where it Counts”

More Money into Classroom, Less into Bureaucracy Dramatically Increases Education Dollars without Tax Increase

-Prioritization of Education Dollars Will Increase Teacher Salaries-

Duplicate the Achievable Dream Middle and High School Model

Bob McDonnell will develop a model proposal, based on this successful program that can be used as a template to help at-risk students in challenging environments. The model must include key “how to” components encouraging the kind of partnerships between school divisions, private companies and families that will duplicate the success of the Achievable Dream Middle and High School.

Give Charter School Applicants More Options to Establish Schools

Bob McDonnell will establish alternative methods of approval for charter school applicants, denied at the local level, or participating in a school district that has unaccredited or partially accredited public schools.

Provide Charter School Expertise

With the state’s role currently limited to offering advice and guidance in the development of charter school applications, we are hindered by a lack of expertise in the state and very few professionals who can recognize a good charter school application from a poor one and help guide applicants through the process.

Create College Partnership Laboratory Schools

We will maximize the use of higher education investment in technology and infrastructure to develop college partnership laboratory schools that operate much like charter schools.

Establish More Specialized High Schools in High-Demand Industries

We will create more charter or specialized schools designed to prepare students for jobs in the high-demand industries, such as healthcare, engineering, teaching, etc.

Expand and Strengthen Turnaround Program for Underperforming Schools

As Governor, Bob McDonnell will appoint a Public School Turnaround Leader, at the Department of Education, whose sole mission will be to focus on the underperforming schools and set in motion urgent plans to eliminate obstacles to success.

Increase Online Learning Through Virtual Schools

Bob McDonnell will partner with online curriculum providers to leverage technological innovation with public education to bring a 21st century learning experience to Virginia students and families.

Support Educational Mentoring Programs Focused on Character, Financial Literacy, and Public Safety

Bob McDonnell will integrate proven mentoring programs into school systems to promote productive, responsible lifestyles.

Make Virginians America’s Best Prepared and Well paid Workforce

Virginia’s greatest asset is our people. Virginians work hard, innovate constantly and improve America and the world daily with their ingenuity and talents. We are in a constant race to attract high paying employers. We compete with North Carolina, Maryland, Singapore and China. We must enact policies in Richmond that ensure that Virginians from Abingdon to Arlington can acquire the skills and the training they need to attract these employers and achieve their dreams.

School Readiness

Bob McDonnell has outlined detailed plans to improve our public school system. Improving targeted pre-K programs is part of the solution. School readiness is one of the most important contributing factors to successful, engaged citizens. By preparing Virginia’s children for school and a successful education, they will be a positive contribution to our economic prosperity and quality of life in the Commonwealth.