Our public schools are a powerful force for good, and we have huge incentives to work closely with economic development, industry, higher education, and community organizations to make Vigo County schools the best place to learn and grow.
That starts with trust between board members and builds out to form good relationships throughout the community. Our collaborative spirit and community pride should be a force that empowers teachers, inspires students, and grows our community.
Economic Development, Higher Education, & Industry
Indiana's school funding formula makes student numbers count - big time. Our ability to provide a "general and uniform" public education, as our state Consitution requires, depends on our ability to keep and retain students. But students do not attend school when there are not enough jobs for their parents and guardians in the community. Vigo County Schools should be part of the long-term strategy to attract, retain, and create talent, connecting our students to post-secondary opportunities and helping them get the skills and credentials they need to succeed.
When I heard the first Vigo Virtual Success Academy graduate tell a packed house about her plans for college and career at the State of the Schools, I wanted to stand on my chair and cheer. Traditional settings just do not work for every student, and Vigo County was right to pursue this critical option for students. Particularly as we face the uncertanties of a lingering pandemic, we need to do all we can to strenghten and grow this program. The School Board must be a fully functioning partner to with the Administration to acheive this.
Career and Technical Education
This is an exciting time for Career and Technical Education, with renewed interest from both the federal and state governments. These programs offer so much more than conventional vocational training. They are part of Indiana's Graduation Pathways, a key component of Techncial Honors diplomas, and an excellent way to equip students with the skills, credentials, and confidence they need for life-long success. From work-based learning opportunities to apprenticeships and employability skills, the School Board should be encouraging a diverse and growing student enrollment in these programs.