Former VA attorney general talks education, religion at school fundraiser

Speaking at a benefit dinner Friday night, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli hit on range of topics from education to abortion, the political left to natural law.

The dinner was to benefit Veritas Preparatory School, a Christian classical school on McLaws Circle in James City County. Cuccinelli was the honored guest.

He spent much of his hour-long speech talking about the place of Christianity in the government and education before taking questions from the audience.

“There’s no question that the most fundamental piece of education is understanding one’s relationship with God,” Cuccinelli. “Not just having it, but understanding it and then living it out.”

The school opened in 2014 and will graduate its first class of seniors this spring. The school’s founder, Diane Cavazos, told the audience that fundraisers like Friday night’s are important because the school cannot receive federal, state or diocese funding. 

With President Donald Trump’s nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary, a woman who has fought for school choice and school voucher programs to put federal funds into private institutions, leaders at schools like Veritas have been given hope.

Cavazos said she would like to see DeVos’s confirmation go through — a vote is expected next week — and she’d like to have federal funding at her school, whether through vouchers or tax credits. 

“Parents that send their children to Veritas are tax payers too,” Cavazos said. “It’s like double taxation.”

Cuccinelli said the reason DeVos has been so opposed by Democrats is because she is “open to faith in education.” He went on to say that there are some are some who don’t think there should be a department of education at all. 

“In an ideal world in this arena, the federal government will have less and less and less to say about education in America at every level,” Cuccinelli said. “I believe Betsy DeVos would be ecstatic with that outcome.” 

The country did better before there was a federal department of education, he said.

Williams can be reached by phone at 757-345-2341.

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