Own your American Dream
Leaders in Classrooms; Leaders in Life
Continuing the conversation of the House Republicans’ 2013 Agenda entitled, “Own your American Dream”, education will remain a top priority for the caucus. Having a strong education system that prepares Hoosiers for careers outside of the classroom, workshop or lecture hall is the foundation for economic sustainability and arguably the most important aspect to move our state forward.
An education opens doors to better opportunities and knows no boundaries. It is the ticket to societal advancement and prosperity. It is a critical component in our state’s long-term plan for continued expansion and growth, which is why Indiana allocated over half of the state’s budget to K-12 education.
I am dedicated to making Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family. Investing in the future of our great state is fundamental to Indiana’s strength and helps ensure a better livelihood for future generations of Hoosiers.
Over the past two years, education reform has been met with bipartisan support at the Statehouse as families are now given more choices regarding what school best fits the needs of their child; students are eligible for postsecondary scholarships when they graduate from high school in less than four years; and funding for full-day kindergarten has doubled.
As a result of some of the initiatives put in place by the legislature, high school graduation rates and test scores have increased across the state – helping to attract more companies to Indiana. Having a strong and educated workforce is one of the most important boxes that prospective employers look to check off when they are deciding to locate or expand their operations.
It is widely known that Indiana has the economic tools in place to attract private sector companies, but more needs to be done to bridge the skills gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There are teacher shortages in these fields which is hampering industries in high demand for skilled workers.
Since July of 2009, Indiana has the third highest rate of growth for private sector employment. Expanding on Indiana’s accolades as one of the top states do business, having a strong education system that complements our first-rate economic and fiscal standing will position Indiana for considerable growth.
Working with teachers and supporting partnerships between rural schools and education groups will strengthen our education system. Teachers are leaders in the classroom helping to shape the future leaders of our state. They are instrumental in the development and academic success of Hoosier students. As an educator, I am dedicated to continuing to work with Indiana’s teachers to better our state’s education system. Through our collaboration, we can strengthen Indiana’s education system where every parent has a choice and every student has a chance to succeed with a high quality education.
Guest column is published in the Posey County News.