Supporting high-quality education opportunities for Hoosiers of all backgrounds and economic standing is fundamental to our nation’s future. I believe in empowering the local decision-making of parents and educators. It is common sense that parents understand what is best for their child, and we should level the playing field and allow parents to choose the school that best meets a student’s needs – public or private – and regardless of income or geography.
This is an issue that is close to my heart from my work helping to launch the Oaks Academy in Indianapolis, which focuses on helping underprivileged children.
A high-quality education provides the foundation for a good job, which is fundamental to creating stronger families and a higher quality of life. As the Commissioner of Workforce Development for Governors Mike Pence and Eric Holcomb, I worked tirelessly to strengthen and align education and workforce development programs. I have seen firsthand where the federal government must do more to cultivate collaboration between educators and business leaders, so our education institutions are teaching the skills and competencies necessary to fill the high-demand, high-wage jobs of the future.
The US Department of Education has become too large and ineffective at providing meaningful assistance. We need to move power away from Washington and back to the states. I would support legislation to simplify and streamline the allocation of federal tax dollars back to states and local leaders to use as they see fit.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) should be an area of focus and investment. We can improve significantly on the job we do preparing students to enter rewarding careers in Indiana’s major industries: manufacturing, information technology, health care, transportation/logistics, and the building/construction trades. Supporting work-based learning and apprenticeship models are also important to offering students real-life experience and a better-rounded educational experience, better preparing them for a career and lowering the need for incurring student loan debt.