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Strengthening Vocational Education in Indiana

As your next Governor, I will be dedicated to fostering an educational environment that equips our young people with practical skills and prepares them for successful futures. I want to address a critical aspect of our educational system: vocational education.

The Challenge: A Gap in Exposure

Too often, our Hoosier youth graduate from high school without ever exploring the wealth of career-oriented vocational opportunities available to them. These pathways—ranging from skilled trades to technical fields—are not only desirable but also essential for our state’s growth and prosperity.

The Solution: Reestablishing Vocational Education in K-12 Schools

Rather than focusing solely on post-secondary vocational programs, we must shift our attention to our K-12 public schools. Here’s how we can make a difference:

  1. Simplified Graduation Requirements: I pledge to collaborate with the General Assembly and the State Department of Education to streamline our state’s high school graduation requirements. By doing so, we create space for vocational education within the curriculum.

  2. Early Exposure: Let’s provide vocational and technical educational opportunities to our young people while they are still in high school. Early exposure allows them to discover their passions, develop practical skills, and make informed career choices.

  3. Empowering Choices: Vocational education isn’t an alternative—it’s an empowering choice. Whether a student aspires to be an electrician, a healthcare technician, or an automotive mechanic, we must ensure that these pathways are accessible and celebrated.

  4. Preventing Despair: By offering vocational education during high school, we address a critical juncture. Let’s intervene BEFORE our youth lose hope or turn to criminal activities. Education becomes a beacon of opportunity, not a missed chance.

Together, we can reinvigorate vocational education in Indiana’s K-12 schools. Our children deserve pathways that ignite their potential, empower their dreams, and build a stronger Hoosier workforce.

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