Federal Education Role in Virginia

Virginia's two land grant universities Virginia Tech and Virginia State University receive federal funding to perform agricultural research and to conduct cooperative extension services.

Virginia opted to not participate in No Child Left Behind federal funding. Virginia filed an application for the first round of federal Race to the Top funding, but finished 31st out of 41 states in the first round, and did not receive funds. On May 26, 2010, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell withdrew the state from the second round of Race to the Top funding. McDonnell did not believe that Virginia should apply for the second round because he erroneously believed the competition required the use of common education performance standards instead of Virginia's current standards. In fact, the use of common performance standards is not required. Although McDonnell supported the Race to the Top program during McDonnell's campaign for governor, McDonnell later went on to claim on his June 1 appearance on MS-NBC that the Race to the Top rules precluded participating states from adopting more rigorous standards in addition to whatever multi-state standards they join. However, the "Race to the Top" regulations award the points even if states adopt standards more rigorous than the optional, common standards.