As I mentioned earlier this week, the Johnson County Daily Journal published an article about the District 93 race on Monday. In that article, my opponent discussed his idea for improving our education system as focusing on job-skills and vocational training. In other words, this is a method of improving our education near the end of high school (or later). While not a direct quote from him, a paraphrased portion of the article indicated that not everybody needs to go to college or get a a degree.
I agree that not everyone will go to college or earn a degree. However, we can’t throw our hands up and decide that, because some children have not been given the preparatory education needed to go to college if they wanted to, the solution is simply to focus on technical training.
I believe that every child should have the opportunity to go to college if he or she wants to do so. Obviously, this requires us to provide an education that makes that opportunity a reality if he or she does want to pursue a college education. We can’t accomplish this by simply providing vocational training at the back end of a child’s education.
We have to improve the early education opportunities for children in Indiana. We have taken a positive step with kindergarten funding, but many areas have not implemented this, and many parents can’t afford the additional fees associated with kindergarten. It’s time to close the gap. In addition, our pre-kindergarten programs are atrociously limited.
It’s time to invest in early education. It’s time to ensure that our children have the basic skills needed to learn rapidly in their formative years. It’s time to make a college education something that every child can obtain if he or she wants to do so, as opposed to something that’s impossible because our public education failed to properly prepare the child.
We are fortunate to have a budget surplus. With promises of heavy revenue cuts in the years ahead, now is the time to make this investment. If not now, when?