Education is important to me and my family. My parents both grew up poor and did not have the benefit of higher education, yet they worked hard and provided opportunity for me. My wife and I both have college degrees and made a family plan to help our own children through college while still placing responsibility on them.
Idaho has a constitutional mandate to maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools. I agree with and support that provision. It is our directive. While education does take money, there must be a balance between the amount of money and the effective use of that money. Teachers need to be fairly compensated and given appropriate tools in the classroom. I have supported increased funding for the teacher career ladder, technology and dual credit / advanced placement opportunities. I support choice for parents, including home schooling, and charter and magnet schools, although I have disagreed with the details of some charter proposals when they weaken public schools. Finding and keeping a balance of adequate funding and effective use of that funding to educate our youth is an important part of my legislative focus.
Families and students still need better information and early counseling on education options, including advanced placement / dual credit, higher education paths, scholarships, and financial planning. I am committed to making that happen. I was excited to support legislation this past session providing scholarships to students earning college credit during high school, establishing early reading intervention, and to putting school counselors on the career ladder. We need to continue these types of positive initiatives.