McAuliffe announces gubernatorial candidacy and investment in education

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RICHMOND, Virginia – Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced his gubernatorial campaign on Wednesday morning and outlined his plan for what he called most important to every Virginian: education.

McAuliffe says his plan will help rebuild Virginia’s post-COVID economy.

“To build a strong post-COVID economy, the best workforce in the world, and to chart a clear course for the middle class, we need to make an unprecedented investment in education,” McAuliffe said.

He says spending on education would be his top priority if elected.

“Now is the time to ensure a world class education for every child in Virginia, our future and our children cannot wait,” he added.

Delivering his remarks at Miles Jones Elementary School in Richmond, McAuliffe said his plan would call for an investment of $ 2 billion per year, the largest investment ever in education in Virginia.

It would also include raising teacher salaries above the national average for the first time in Virginia history. The former governor says Virginia ranks last in America with teacher salary compared to average salary.

“I promise you that we are going to make a bold and dramatic increase in teacher compensation,” McAuliffe said. “We’re going to make sure every student in Virginia is online. We’re going to make sure and extend that to every at-risk three and four-year-old here in Virginia, get a preschool education. And finally, address the inequalities that we’re having. in our schools.

“Like clockwork the old way of thinking has surfaced again, the first response from some Republicans and even a few Democrats. ‘Oh governor, we can’t do it. We can’t afford it. C ‘is too big.’ Well guess what? We are going to prove them wrong one more time. Because the only thing we cannot afford to do is prevent black, brown and rural children from having access to what they need to get a quality education. We need to make sure every child is prepared for the jobs of the 21st century, “he continued.

McAuliffe, once best known as a prominent Democratic money man and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, enters an already crowded Democratic primary. The governor’s race in Virginia will be one of the country’s main political contests next year, serving as a barometer of public mood during President-elect Joe Biden’s first year in office.

As governor, McAuliffe had a largely successful four-year term from 2014 that saw him tirelessly market the state, strike major transport deals and restore the voting rights of thousands of convicted felons. . He rose to prominence nationally as a leading liberal voice on certain social issues, winning kudos for undoing a holdover from the Jim Crow era of the state and restoring the right to vote and others. civil rights to criminals who had served their sentence.

Stay with CBS 6 for the latest news on this developing story.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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