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McDonnell names ed secretary, other appointments

Anita Kumar

As we told you he would, Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell (R) named Gerard Robinson, a nationally known advocate for school choice and charter schools, as his education secretary this morning.

McDonnell also announced a slew of other appointments at a morning news conference at the state Capitol, including naming former state Sen. Jeannemarie Davis (and wife of former congressman Tom Davis) as the director of governor's office in Washington that coordinates with the federal government and former congresswoman Thelma Drake as director of the Virginia department of rail and public transportation.

Other appointments include:

J. Jasen Eige: Counselor and Senior Advisor to the Governor
John Buckovich: Deputy Secretary of Public Safety
James S. Cheng: Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade
Charles James: Deputy Secretary of Administration
Maureen Matsen: Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources
David Paylor: Director, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Read the full press release here.

Robinson, 43, president of the Atlanta-based Black Alliance for Education Options, which works to increase access to charter and private education for black families, will take on what is widely considered the weakest jobs on the Cabinet.

"Gerard's life story, from growing up in a working-class family in Los Angeles to receiving his Master's degree in Education from Harvard, is an inspiration to us all,'' McDonnell said. "He has dedicated his career to helping young people across the country receive the same educational opportunities that were crucial to his own success."

McDonnell pledged to expand charter schools in Virginia during his campaign against Democrat Creigh Deeds, and he expects to make education one of his priorities during his first session. Robinson is McDonnell's second African American Cabinet members.

McDonnell has yet to his final Cabinet secretary -- health and human resources, which will be made later this week. Most Cabinet secretaries will be sworn in Sunday. Their appointments will be subject to confirmation by the General Assembly.

By Anita Kumar  |  January 12, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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"[McDonnell] expects to make education one of his priorities during his first session."

What would you consider "making something a priority?" Slashing the budget of every public school and university in Virginia to keep a pledge to not raise taxes?

When the Post reported that the state's share of our "public" University of Virginia" is only 7% of the university's budget, you have to ask yourself whether there really is public education in this state.

Building and funding more charter schools is a dead give away that education in Virginia will only be available to the wealthy and privileged.

Did the Post report on where Mickey D's kids go to school? Will that school get the big budget axe, too?

Posted by: thuff7 | January 12, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

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