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Where Hillary Clinton’s VP Tim Kaine Stands on Education

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Hillary Clinton declared Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her pick for vice president, and since she is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, it’s important to know where her running mate stands on education issues.

In the past month, Clinton has brought education to the forefront of the presidential election by directly addressing both the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. Right before that, she released a technology and innovation agenda that largely addressed promoting STEM and, more specifically, computer science in America’s schools.

Like Clinton, Kaine has had an extensive background in politics and therefore has a long record to discuss when considering where he stands. Important to also note is that his wife, Anne Holton, is secretary of education in Virginia. The media has referred to them as the swing state’s “power couple.”


Early Education

A central issue to Clinton’s campaign is her support of promoting universal preK. Kaine’s views and past actions thoroughly align with this; in November 2013, he said he strongly believed that all children should start school by age 4. His record indicates he has been a strong advocate for early education for many years with some critical gains.

According to his website, as governor "he expanded the Virginia Preschool Initiative by increasing Pre-K enrollment by 40 percent in the Commonwealth.” 


Contributions to the Every Student Succeeds Act

Career and Technical Education

Kaine has long been an advocate for Career and Technical Education (CTE), a topic that has largely been left out of the conversation until now.

During the creation of the now-passed Every Student Succeeds Act, Kaine helped pass a provision that improves K-12 access to CTE programs.

”ESSA...includes my provisions to improve access to K-12 career and technical education (CTE) programs. CTE is an important pathway for students to prepare for the workforce by integrating practical applied purposes with work-based knowledge and a hands-on learning experience,” he said after the bill’s passing in December.

[Read: Why Congress should work to improve CTE programs this summer]

Prevention of Sexual Assault on Campuses

A second provision Kaine co-authored that was included into ESSA is the Teach Safe Relationships Act.

The bill defines what safe relationships are to be considered as and allows for the first time Title IV funds to be used "for instruction and training on safe relationship behavior among students.” 


’Federal Commitment’ to Improved Teacher Pay

In 2013, Kaine told Education Week he supported a federal commitment to improving teacher pay. While he acknowledged teacher pay is traditionally left up to state and local governments, he said that current compensation practices are not up to par. 


On the Common Core


He has supported the Common Core in the past, saying:

"Measuring our students against international benchmarks is an important step,” and, "Today, we live in a world without borders. It not only matters how Virginia students compare to those in surrounding states – it matters how we compete with countries across the world.”

He even signed Virginia up as an early supporter of the standards as governor, though that never actually happened after the state collectively decided its standards were better.



Anything else you would like to know about Tim Kaine? Let us know and see where the other candidates stand on education here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor

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