As a former public school teacher, mother, and hiring business owner I know the value of a great education. An effective plan to educate Idahoans benefits everyone in the community and it constitutional! The Idaho State Constitution section 9 article 1 reads:
LEGISLATURE TO ESTABLISH SYSTEM OF FREE SCHOOLS. The stability of a republican form of government depending mainly upon the intelligence of the people, it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and maintain a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.
Education is not specifically stated in the U.S. constitution but it is in Idaho’s which means our legislature is tasked with ensuring schools are FREE and THOUROUGH. How is Idaho succeeding?
I’ll share one example of education working for Idaho families. Advanced Opportunities is a program that gives money to high school kids to choose to spend in concurrent or AP classes so they earn college credit while still in high school. They can also spend money on dual credit, or technical competency. Every student has an account and gets to choose where the money goes. My son graduated from Centennial High School last year and benefited tremendously by this program. He finished his senior year already on the path to future success with the following:
· Several welding certifications
· Auto tech experience from working in a real mechanics shop at Meridian High School
· Completed 2 AP exams.
· Earned 12 concurrent college credits
Thanks to the good work of previous legislatures, I have a son who is graduating with an employable skillset and a jumpstart on college. I like this because it has done great things for my son. I LOVE this program because it puts tax dollars back in the hands of Idaho families and lets them make choices on how to spend their own education dollars.
Advanced Opportunities is effective because it meets the needs of a wide range of student interest by offering a variety of opportunities. Government does our kids a disservice when it mandates one right way to do education. This program gives options and choices to meet individual needs.
As I campaign for the Idaho House of Representatives, parents often ask me how I will be an advocate for better education in Idaho. For me it starts with the family, individual choices, and measurable results. I look forward to supporting additional innovative ways that use our education dollars to expand opportunities and advance skillsets for Idaho students.