What a difference a year makes.
Last August, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine appeared at a town-hall event in Virginia Beach as Democratic colleagues, according to a write-up on Sen. Warner’s website. Now, with fewer than three months to go until the November election and with Kaine running from the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket, Sen. Warner is slated to speak in Virginia Beach Thursday about what it all means to Hampton Roads. Fresh off their joint announcement Friday of almost $9.6 million in federal grants for K-12 schools, colleges and universities in the state, including $494,575 for the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education, Warner will make his remarks solo this time.
Warner, a two-term senator and former governor, will appear at a senatorial forum sponsored by the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The event will be held at the Founders Inn and Spa, 5641 Indian River Rd. The program is from noon to 2 p.m., but attendees must arrive by 11:30 a.m., according to a release. The event costs $45 for members and $65 for nonmembers.
On Friday, Senators Kaine and Warner announced that the U.S. Department of Education has earmarked almost $9.6 million in grants for Virginia schools, colleges and universities. The funds include $8.15 million, through the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, to boost student-classroom achievement in K-12 schools across the state, according to a release. SIGs are allocated, based on need and commitment, to improve student achievement in the “lowest-performing schools,” according to the education department’s website.
An additional $1.4 million in federal funding will come from the Educational Opportunity Centers Program, which provides college-admissions information and counseling to adults who wish to start or continue postsecondary education, according to the Department of Education’s website. These funds will go to: the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education ($494,575); Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond ($236,000), Virginia State University in Petersburg ($236,900), Danville Community College ($236,000) and Portsmouth Public Schools ($235,468), the release said.
“The investment will help close some of the gaps that exist for students at lower-performing schools,” Sen. Warner said in the release. “This is more than just extra funding — this is a lifelong investment in their future success, and in the long-term strength of our communities.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Warner could not be reached for comment.
Warner, who first won election to the Senate in 2008, owned a telecommunications business before entering politics, according to a biography on his Senate website. He serves on the Senate Banking, Budget, Finance and Intelligence Committees.
“Decisions being made or deferred in Washington, D.C. on a daily basis are having an impact on the Hampton Roads regional economy and our national security,” the chamber said in a release. “Hear first-hand Senator Warner’s perspectives on the myriad of issues facing the nation, the Commonwealth, and Hampton Roads.”
Senator Kaine is unable to attend the forum because of his selection to serve as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s running mate, according to the chamber’s website.
For more information about the event, go to the chamber’s website.
Correction: A previous version of the article stated, based on a release from Sen. Warner’s office, that the $494,575 federal grant would go to the Old Dominion University Research Foundation. After the article was posted, Dr. Lawrence G. Dotolo, president of the Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education, clarified that the grant will be administered by the research foundation, but the recipient of the funds will be VTC.