The first school for a child’s instruction is the home, and the first teachers are the parents.  The education of children is a natural right of parents.  The ancient Greek writer, Plutarch, noted that “it is never too early to form the character and habits of the child.”  Parents have the primary duty and inalienable right to educate their children as they see fit.   This right and responsibility is not derived from the government, and exists prior to the claims of any civil government.


As your Delegate since 1992, I have been an unwavering supporter of both home-schooling and school voucher (like the G.I. Bill) or tax credit programs.  I firmly support the right of parents to freely choose the schools their children attend, since they all pay taxes that fund our schools.  Education vouchers or tax credits for parents will improve public schools through healthy competition, and allow parents to choose the best learning environment for their children.


  • No Steroids for Public School Athletes:  In my twenties, I worked with a world class sports physician who also developed steroid pills for muscle growth, but who later recognized the harm they cause.  I introduced, and the Assembly passed, my law prohibiting public school athletes who used anabolic steroids from participating in interscholastic sports competitions. (2005)
  • Social Promotion of Students:  My study established a joint subcommittee to study “social promotion” of students within public schools to identify the cause, prevalence, and recommend ways to ensure students are promoted based on their performance. (1996)
  • In God We Trust:  Required schools to post the national motto “In God we Trust” in a prominent place in each school to be easily read by students. (2002)
  • Transparency:  My law requires Virginia public colleges and universities to publish an annual report detailing funding for student organizations, including the name and purpose of each organization which receives $100 or more.  (2005)
  • Bullying in Schools:  As a result of an incident at Bull Run Middle School years ago involving a student who brought a weapon to school, I introduced a measure which became law, to require school authorities to report bullying incidents or intimidation of students to the parents of affected children. (2005)

“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”


– Thomas Jefferson