As I wrote recently, one of the major deficiencies in our public education system is the paucity of early education opportunities for our children. The educational process, of course, is a cumulative matter, with our teachers helping students build upon knowledge they previously obtained. In Indiana, we let far too many of our children begin schooling without the basic skills that they could attain in both kindergarten and pre-kindergarten.
We have to ensure that Hoosier students have the opportunity to attend both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes. My opponent’s solution of increased technical and vocational training, which in and of itself is a good thing, falls far short of addressing our early education woes. I believe that every child should be prepared and have the opportunity to attend college if he or she wants to do so. Our students should have the opportunity to make that decision themselves; it should not be forced upon them because we failed to prepare them to take that next step.
Now is the time to expand early education programs, while we have a budget surplus. If not now, when?