Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Excellence in Education

Virginia's education system is the key to our future. If a broader range of our children don't learn to read, think critically and analyze, then the future will indeed be difficult.

Offering a quality education for our students is a major issue with voters in Virginia. As the economy becomes more "technologically complicated" and the world more competitive, it is imperative that our young people be prepared for the realities of the future. With less than 35% of graduating high school seniors receiving a four-year college degree, it is clear that the ability of our K-12 public education system must be improved. And for our colleges and universities it is important that they offer quality and cost efficient education to those who attend our institutions of higher learning. This Center looks at the education system and offers creative alternatives to its current programs and policies based upon the Mission Statement of the Jefferson Institute.

February 2017

Fight to Help Underserved Children Playing out in Richmond
Fight to Help Underserved Children Playing out in Richmond — Virginia's public school system is among the nation's best, but there remain geographic pockets of underserved children.  Of the 94 schools denied accreditation, 55 percent are in just five school divisions.  Eleven schools have repeatedly been denied accreditation -- one of them for 11 years!  To help solve the problem, Delegate Steve Landes and Senator Mark Obenshain have introduced legislation providing a pathway for establishment of quality public charter schools to help children in those areas.  The Jefferson Institute has been in the forefront of educating and informing the General Assembly and the public about the benefits of quality charter schools.

Watch the WRIC Report Here.

Read Chris Braunlich's Commentary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Read the Washington Post editorial endorsing charter schools.

February 2016

Helping Children, Saving Tax Dollars
Helping Children, Saving Tax Dollars — In 2014-2015, the Education Improvement Scholarship Tax Credit offered nearly 1,400 low and moderate income students the opportunity for a better educational placement.  At the same time, it saved the Commonwealth of Virginia nearly $3 million in Standards of Quality funding as those students left the public system to attend a private school.  With a 65 percent tax credit, Virginia's tax credit scholarship program offers one of the smallest credits in the nation.  Raising the credit to 90 percent would stimulate more donations to scholarship foundations, relieve family financial strains by providing higher scholarships to poorer students, offer more choices to educationally at-risk students --- and not cost Virginia taxpayers a dime!  Read It Here!

February 2016

Jefferson Journal:  Why Virginia Needs a Charter School Amendment
Jefferson Journal: Why Virginia Needs a Charter School Amendment — By Chris Braunlich  Senator Mark Obenshain and Delegate Rob Bell have proposed a Virginia constitutional amendment permitting the State Board of Education to authorize p[ublic charter schools.  If passed this year by the General Assembly, it goes to the voters for approval in November.  Because charter schools remain relativesly unknown in Virginia, it's important to understand how they operate in other states, what the results have been, and why they have failed to take hold here in the Commonwealth. Read It Here!

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