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Anne Holton, Tim Kaine’s Wife, Praises Clinton’s Education Agenda, ESSA

Although another presidential debate has come and gone with no room on the stage for talk about K-12 education policy, Anne Holton, wife to Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine and former Education Secretary of Virginia, addressed the issue while campaigning in Philly.

Holton has an extensive background working in education as not only was she Virginia’s Secretary of Education from 2014 until this past July, she also was heavily influenced by her father, a former governor of the state, and his commitment to desegregating the state’s schools from an early age.

In other words, it’s fair to say Holton is this presidential campaign’s education champion; on Saturday, she provided rare insight into how Clinton’s education agenda will work to provide success for “children in every zip code.”

The Notebook says Holton spent Saturday discussing Clinton’s intentions to elevate the teaching profession, reform the way schools discipline students to ensure minority students aren’t disproportionately affected, and overall ensure that all schools have adequate resources no matter what.

"Hillary has a concrete proposal to increase federal funding for programs that work and provide alternatives so that students can be in the classroom. I call it classrooms, not courtrooms,” she said, according to The Notebook.

Holton also expressed support for the new education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act, and how it will help fight against long-standing educational inequalities that typically affect low-income and minority students.

"Among other things, ESSA will put more emphasis on recognizing the progress schools are making, instead of simply judging them on whether they reached certain benchmarks, Holton said,” according to The Notebook.

Holton’s husband, Tim Kaine, is an avid supporter of promoting universal preschool, expanding access to Career and Technical Education, and elevating the teaching profession, even if it means federal intervention to raise educator pay. 

While Clinton has not mentioned education policy on the debate stage yet, she has at points throughout her campaign discussed fixing the school-to-prison pipeline, investing in improved disciplinary practices and promoting tech and innovation by supporting subjects like computer science in schools.

Republican candidate Donald Trump had remained almost completely silent on education policy until recently, when he voiced support for school choice programs. In fact, he called a lack of quality options made available through school choice programs the biggest civil rights issue of our time.

Find out more about where the presidential candidates and their running mates stand on education here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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