Pence Lists His Education Priorities for Session
December 10, 2013 — Indiana Governor Mike Pence says his education priorities for the state focus on the future, “That is, after all, what education is about.”
Pence sited a “moral obligation” Hoosiers have as parents and policymakers to ensure Indiana children “are learning in a way that prepares them to succeed in the future” as he outlined his education agenda for the 2014 legislative session.
His proposals come after public statements by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz that Pence is using a state executive agency he established to undermine her authority with the State Board of Education.
Pence says public education should lead to training for industry certifications or a college degree, “both of which, in turn, lead to jobs.”
He also wants pre-Kindergarten education “for Indiana’s most disadvantaged kids,” and “a voucher program targeted to families in need.”
Pence says Indiana needs to “experiment with new types of charters, fostering new learning models, finding new technologies that improve student outcomes.”
The Governor invoked teacher support, “proposing a new teacher innovation fund that will make grants to teachers who have the best, scalable ideas for improving student outcomes. . . We also should provide additional support to public school teachers who decide they want to make a career move and teach in a school helping at-risk children.”
He also advocates support for charter schools, “We are proposing legislation that would make it possible for charter operators with more than one school in Indiana to manage a single budget rather than several, with the flexibility to move funds between schools as needed.”
Pence has several other legislative proposals, including expanding dropout recovery schools, a new performance-based program for under-skilled adult workers with a high school degree or equivalent but needing further learning.