Saxman Advising McDonnell on Education

Soon-to-be Former Delegate Chris Saxman will be advising the McDonnell administration on public education, according to the News Virginian via SWACGirl. Saxman’s retirement took many by surprise–including yours truly, whose territory included Saxman’s seat in the House of Delegates. Saxman had been eyed as many as a possible contender for Lt. Governor in 2009 before Bill Bolling made the race. He also briefly considered a run for the GOP nod for United States Senate against Jim Gilmore. From the NV:

Saxman, R-Staunton, said he and former Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Bosher will spend the next month reviewing personnel, programs and criteria at the Virginia Department of Education before issuing a report to McDonnell on Jan. 4.

Saxman said his review could entail how to work on McDonnell’s plan for additional charter schools in a time of lean state budgets. “It’s quite an honor and a privilege to take on a transition area like K-12 education,’’ said Saxman, who has been a strong proponent of school choice during his four terms in the state House.
Saxman also said serving on the transition team would offer him an opportunity to “see how the executive branch works.”

Even before leaving the House one of Saxman’s biggest issues was educational choice. He was behind the founding of the School Choice Virginia 501(c)4 group that has made a big splash both here and in D.C.–they were upfront in the recent publicizing of data that shows the public firmly in support of school choice. The group is headed by former Saxman aide and campaign manager Whitney Duff.

Two outcomes from this announcement. One, McDonnell is giving hints of a sweeping legislative agenda to come in the next few months. Two, we haven’t seen the last of Chris Saxman. Chris is a young guy, just in his 40s. He’s also a smart and dedicated guy, willing to take big risks to get his core values time in the spotlight. I’d put money against Saxman joining the administration, but Saxman’s soapbox is now a whole lot bigger than the one he occupied in the House.

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