Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Announces Plan to State-Fund Religious Schools

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli unveiled a 12 step plan to reform the commonwealth’s educational system that includes changing the Virginia constitution to allow state funding to go to religious schools. 

Crucified Jesus Christ In The Hand Of Holy Women via Shutterstock
Crucified Jesus Christ In The Hand Of Holy Women via Shutterstock

As part of his campaign platform, Cuccinelli released his plan on Tuesday at a school in Richmond. A key part of the plan is an amendment to the Virginia constitution to allow the state to fund “sectarian” schools, such as Christian, Jewish, or other religiously affiliated charter schools.

Currently, Virginia is prohibited from providing state funds to sectarian schools, and any charter school must first get permission from the school district in which it plans to operate. Cuccinelli argues that this current ban on funding for religious schools is the result of “anti-Catholic bigotry in American politics in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”

Progress VA notes that a majority of Cuccinelli’s education plan reflects legislation drafted by the conservative think tank ALECALEC has developed model legislation which aids corporations and has often promoted extreme right-wing legislation, such as voter suppression and “Stand Your Ground” laws. ALEC claims to have about 1,000 of its bills introduced by legislative members every year, with one in every five of them enacted into law.

The Virginia Gubernatorial election will be held on November 5, 2013.

Media Resources: Progress VA 8/14/2013; ThinkProgress 8/14/2013; Associated Press 8/13/2013; Ken Cuccinelli’s K-12 Education Plan; Feminist Newswire 8/29/2013

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