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Tom Shields Hosts Town Meeting on Education, Aug. 24

John O’Bannon’s 73rd District seat challenger, Tom Shields,  will host a town hall style meeting on the topic of education, and preparing our children for the 21st century economy, on Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m.  The meeting will be at the Tuckahoe Area Library –
1901 Starling Drive.

Shield’s press release states the reason for the meeting:

WHY:  Incumbent John O’Bannon has voted to defund education by over $1/2 billion.  Whether on early childhood, K-12, or higher education, O’Bannon has provided a consistent voice against Virginia’s schools. As an educator and Director of the Center for Leadership in Education at the University of Richmond, Tom Shields knows that education is the key to preparing our children for the 21st Century economy and as Delegate will fight to improve, not weaken, Virginia’s education system.

Wow, I had no idea any legislator would vote to defund education right now!  Personally, as a parent of 2 kids in school and as the wife of a long-time Head Start teacher, I can say, that is the last thing I would want for our children.   I feel like more money should be spent to improve quality and opportunities for our children’s education. Free Pre-K as an option for all of Virginia’s children would be a great start. Also, I like how Shields is emphasizing 21st century learning. As a blogger and someone who makes a living in social media, I have to say that what our children need to know is changing and our educational system needs to change with that. Sheilds totally gets that.  And thankfully, Henrico County Schools seem to get that too.  Computers and teaching technology to our children costs money. We should spend more money on education and teachers not less.

Also, I’d love for our education system to teach our children more creativity, and alternative solutions. So much of our schooling teaches us that there is one right answer. But what about the inventors and the people in this world that can see that there are many right answers and we just have to find or discover them.  The successful workers in the 21st Century will have learned how to be innovators and inventors — always being open to new things and always learning. Because in 21st Century learning, one thing is for sure — nothing will stay the same for very long, and our children will need to be open to new perspectives and new ways of thinking on a continual basis.

I’d love to hear O’Bannon’s side of this.  I wonder what he thinks is important for our children’s education. I wonder where else he thinks this money would be better spent.

Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment if you have an opinion on either of these candidates or the future of education in Virginia.