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McDonnell speaks to students via laptop, touts virtual schools

Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) spoke to nearly 100 students across the state this afternoon using a laptop set up in the living room at the Executive Mansion.

The children -- all students at the Virginia Virtual Academy -- take classes online from their own homes. A handful of students from the school were also on a class field trip to Capitol Square today learning about how a bill becomes a law. They visited the mansion and saw the governor in person.

"This is an exciting new way of learning,'' McDonnell said. "When I was growing up, we didn't have anything like this."

The children, grades K to 8th grade, asked loads of questions -- what's his favorite room in the mansion (bedroom), what did he study in school (law and business), what does he like to do in his space time (hang out with his kids and argue about ideas).

Before the governor came in, First Lady Maureen McDonnell greeted the students and spoke to them about the nearly 200-year-old house. She told them that she loved that her husband worked so closed to home -- and that he has come home to eat lunch at least once a week since he has become governor.

Just last week, McDonnell asked legislators to expand the number of virtual schools in the state so students can learn outside traditional classrooms.

Photo courtesy Michaele White, Office of the Governor.


By Anita Kumar  |  February 18, 2010; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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It was an incredible opportunity for the children... they will remember it for a long, long time. Thank you Gov. McDonnell.

Posted by: lisakanak | February 18, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse


JOHN R. MORGAN, PH.D., EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, Voices for Virginia's Children

“Governor McDonnell’s budget recommendations, if adopted, represent a huge step backward for Virginia’s children and families. These proposals with few exceptions threaten to undo much of Virginia’s progress on behalf of children in the last decade or more. It is especially troublesome that these recommended cuts fall disproportionately hard on children and parents and are especially hard on our most vulnerable children, including children in poverty, those with mental health problems and those exposed to child abuse and domestic violence.”

“The Governor recommends drastic additional cuts of $730 Million to K-12 public education, $38 Million to health care for 28,000 low-to-moderate income children, $24 Million to services for at-risk youth, and over $10 Million for early childhood initiatives. These four cuts alone represent almost half of the total budget reduction in the Governor’s recommendations and will negatively impact almost every Virginia family – and Virginia’s future.”

“A bright spot is the Governor’s support for maintaining the Virginia Preschool Initiative at current levels. This will ensure that disadvantaged 4 year olds get a quality preschool experience and enter kindergarten ready to succeed – a powerful investment in the educational success of at-risk children and in Virginia’s future prosperity.”

“Now that the Governor is on record with his budget input, the public can see for the first time the concrete and devastating human impact of the state budget crisis. The fallacy of dealing with this unprecedented fiscal crisis using a one-sided approach – budget cuts with no consideration of revenue enhancements – will now be starkly apparent to citizens.”

“Virginia’s reputation as the best state in which to raise a child – we may have to say goodbye to that distinction if these proposals are adopted. These proposals fail to make children a high priority, just the opposite of what Virginia has done in recent times and exactly the opposite of what should be done now, when kids and families are bearing the brunt of an historic economic downturn. In responding to these proposals, we hope legislators will make kids a higher priority.”

Posted by: thuff7 | February 19, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

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