McAuliffe’s personal record on schools

Published 6:08 pm Friday, October 8, 2021

To the editor:

The McAuliffes, it turns out, sent their children to the private Potomac School in McLean, outside of Washington, D.C., and the candidate’s wife Dorothy McAuliffe served as chair of the board of trustees for the school while their children were students.

An annual report published by the Potomac School in 2008 and obtained by Town Hall includes a letter from trustee board chair Dorothy McAuliffe and later lists the family as having students in second grade, seventh grade and 10th grade.

Current tuition at the Potomac School runs from $39,150 for kindergarten through third grade to $45,650 for ninth through 12th grade. While there’s nothing wrong with a family pursuing the best possible education for their children, it does become problematic when a member of that family runs on a record of vetoing school choice bills and a platform of denying parents the right to influence the education given to their children. That’s exactly what Terry and Dorothy McAuliffe have done.

During his last stint as governor of Virginia in 2016, Terry McAuliffe vetoed three bills that would have expanded school choice in the Commonwealth, claiming that allowing parents to take the education dollars allocated for their children to the best possible school for them would send “the wrong signal” about public education.

So while McAuliffe has the ability to send his kids to the best schools money can buy, he doesn’t want less privileged Virginia families to have the same opportunity because he’s worried public schools might get a bad rap as parents yank their kids and put them in better institutions.

As for his statement in Tuesday night’s debate that parents should not have a voice or role in selecting what their children learn, his own wife was the chair of the board of trustees at the school their children attended, allowing her to have a role in telling the Potomac School what they should teach and how they should operate.

If parents shouldn’t have an oversight role in their kids’ education, the McAuliffes certainly didn’t live that way. If students should be stuck in schools based on their address, the McAuliffes missed the memo on that, too.

Jessica Laz-Smith

Suffolk