Our children are the future, in every respect imaginable. Parents have a passionate interest in their children's preparedness and long-term success in facing the challenges of our future world. Parents are best equipped to choose educational options for their own families most successfully. I support all educators providing quality education options, and work to protect the liberty of parents to choose learning venues which aspire to the highest standards within local communities. The criteria for educational excellence is in local hand; local decision makers best know the issues framing the debate.
I have learned from teachers how much they are concerned about being able to teach according to their professional judgment. I agree that local teachers, principals, and school boards should be the chief administrators in our public schools, not a hierarchy of administrators removed from the circumstances under which children learn. I do not support relying heavily on standardized test scores for "grading" schools or school corporations. I believe it is important we measure the progress of every student, with the awareness that students bring to the program a mix of achievements and innate abilities prior to testing. I continue to advocate for more autonomy for schools in selecting the teaching approach which best fits local communities.
The Indiana School Scholarship tax credit program provides a state tax credit equal to 50 percent of a taxpayer's liability for donations to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) for school scholarships granted to low income students. The tax credit is extended to both individuals and corporations. I support this credit because it will give greater opportunity to those families who have the least number of viable options for choosing education.
Lastly, education does not end with the High School diploma. I support the lifelong learner, recognizing that the training for one half of all new jobs fifteen years from now is not even available today. Adult education and retraining have a place in public policy like never before. The rapid changes in the global economy dictate our preparedness and flexibility in the area of adult education.
As a people, we can give needful things to others such as food or shelter. But one thing we can never give away is an education. An education must be earned by one willing to be sculpted into something they once were not by the honest work of learning. I intend to make educational opportunity part of every citizen's experience in Indiana. We are never too old to grow and learn.