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Mark R. Warner, Governor of Virginia

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Virginia rated Number One in nation

Go straight to the fact sheet on each initiative:
Pre-K | Accountability  | Senior Year | Teacher Retention | Higher Education | Workforce Development


Introduction. Education for a Lifetime is a series of targeted, innovative reforms aimed at improving the quality of education in Virginia -- for all Commonwealth citizens. Introduced prior to the historic, bipartisan passage of the Tax Reform Act of 2004 (which substantially increased sorely needed funding for public education), the program has improved the state's educational system in ways that are low-cost yet yield effective results.

The program's goals are several. Its initiatives range from helping ensure that children enter school healthy and ready to learn, to attracting and retaining the best teachers, to better preparing young adults for either the job market or higher education.

Governor Warner’s efforts to achieve excellence in our educational system are not confined to kindergarten through high school. Recognizing that the typical worker in the 21st century will likely change jobs 10 to 12 times over the course of a career, Education for a Lifetime is also working to equip Virginians for change and help them upgrade their skills through life..

More specifically, the program contains the following broad elements:

Higher Quality Child Care. To help ensure that every child enters school ready to learn, Education for a Lifetime aims to strengthen early childhood education and child care programs in Virginia.

  • Learn more about the Governor's
    Pre-Kindergarten initiatives

A Renewed Commitment to Accountability. To verify that our tax dollars are being spent wisely, Education for a Lifetime has established an efficiency review program in individual school divisions. These reviews examine school operations to find reasonable savings.  Education for a Lifetime has also expanded Project Graduation, which helps seniors in high school meet the more stringent graduation requirements which took effect in the 2003-2004 school year.


Senior Year Reform. Under the Early College Scholars program, Education for a Lifetime offers rising seniors an opportunity to earn a semester’s worth of college credit by the end of their senior year. Non-college bound seniors can work towards an industry certification (starting in their senior year and continuing after high school graduation) to give them both a high school diploma and a specific work certification. 

In fact, Governor Warner's focus on Virginia seniors directly led tothe creation of his major initiative, "Reforming the American High School," which he directed as chairman of the National Governor's Association.

Improved Teacher Recruitment and Retention. Education for a Lifetime has established a substantive mentoring programs for new teachers in hard-to-staff schools, and trained and deployed several “Turn-Around Specialists” to work in low-performing schools in Virginia.

  • Find out more about the Teacher Support and Retention initiatives

Increased Economic Development Through Higher Education. To help achieve greater economic benefits from our system of higher education, the Education for a Lifetime Initiative creates incentives for colleges to increase the amount of cutting-edge research conducted at our state’s public universities and colleges.

  • Learn more about the Higher Education initiative

Improved Workforce Development. The Education for a Lifetime program has created the Career Readiness Certificate, a portable credential that shows employers across the country what skills a Virginia worker may posses.  The program has also improved workplace training and service delivery by streamlining existing programs and eliminating redundant training.

Read the Governor's kickoff speech


Governor of Virginia - Mark R. Warner


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