Al has been involved deeply in education in Southwest Michigan for several years. As a Vice President at Cornerstone Alliance, he led the Community Partnership for Lifelong Learning, a business education partnership that won several state and national awards. He also helped establish the HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed) mentoring program in Benton Harbor, where Al continues to serve as a mentor. That program has increased reading levels by two to three grade levels after one year of mentoring. The key for our education and higher education is to encourage economic growth, so we can make investments in Michigan education.
For our K-12 systems, we need the following:
-Predictable funding streams for education and the legislature needs to complete the budget for school funding by July of each year.
-Allow for tax credits for contributions for K-12 schools A tax credit of up to $400 would be available for individuals and families.
-Allow local school districts to use sinking funds for technology purposes.
Al is a strong advocate of local control of K-12 and schools of choice.
Michigan has some of the best colleges and universities in the world. We need to use our economic development funds to develop partnerships between higher education and businesses. By establishing these partnerships, we can again attract venture capital to our State and help to keep young people in Michigan.
Michigan must continue to utilize its' community colleges for training. Community colleges play a unique role in providing job training and a great opportunity for students to transfer for four year degrees. Michigan needs a vibrant system of community colleges in order to train the future workforce for the jobs that will be created by Michigan entrepreneurs.