Big, bold attainable goals for a higher education plan hailed the Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell today at George Mason University. His plan includes producing 100,000 new college degrees primarily using the STEM principle. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Education, and Math. “Those are the people who will earn the high incomes,” said McDonnell.
1) First, tie state funding directly to this priority and create financial incentives for all our institutions of higher education, both two- and four-year, to emphasize these programs.
(2) Second, do much more to encourage young people to get on the STEM track when they are in elementary and middle school, and of course, high school.
(3) Third, attract, train, motivate, and reward many more excellent teachers in STEM disciplines.
McDonnell outlined a long-term blueprint that included innovative incentives for commercially viable R&D activities on a regional basis. Among his ideas he proposed increaseing research and development at colleges and universities.
To help fund alternative and renewable energy research and development, McDonnell proposed using a portion of the revenues from offshore drilling from oil and natural gas.
THE FIVE POINTS:
· Commit the Commonwealth to awarding 100,000 additional four-year and community college degrees over the next 15 years.
· Make higher education more affordable and accessible for all Virginians.
· Increase the number of students graduating with degrees in high demand, high income fields such as science, technology, engineering and math.
· Expand workforce training at Virginia’s Community Colleges based on current and anticipated employer needs
· Promote public-private partnerships for economic development, workforce training, and advanced research in every region of Virginia
Higher education ought to be among our top priorities for investment. It is one of the areas of state government spending that produces the highest return on investment in terms of jobs and economic growth, and ultimately tax revenues:
Ø Not only do our colleges and community colleges prepare young people for the good jobs and high incomes of the future, but they also provide the new skills that adults need to stay well-employed in the fast-changing economy.
Ø They play a vital role in our economic development programs that attract new, job-producing businesses to every region of our state. Just ask the executives and employees of companies like Rolls Royce, and SRI, and AREVA, and Canon, and Continental, each of which located or expanded facilities here in reliance on the advanced educational opportunities we made available.
Ø Our colleges also partner with business on research that creates new discoveries, new jobs, and a substantial return on investment.
Ø And study after study shows that a wide range of costly social ills-from crime and welfare to health and wellness issues-all correlate to lower education levels.
McDonnell concluded saying that “our investments in higher education pay big dividends in both increased economic activity and reduced social costs, resulting in a higher quality of life for our citizens.” CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE PLAN AND SPEECH AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2009, Politics, State Politics
Tags: election2009, republican