Career & Technical Education
We cannot build and maintain a robust economy that allows everyone the dignity of work without educating our children in a way that matches their needs and talents with the needs of the society. Our schools must both prepare kids to go to college or equip them with employable skills by engaging a rigorous and relevant career and technical education (CTE) system. CTE should be integrated with academics and be a vital component of middle, secondary, and post secondary education. In Winchester, the Emil and Grace Shihadeh Innovation Center is currently under development. The Center, a public/private partnership, will be a state of the art facility and an example for CTE centers around the country. Employers and community leaders in our district are committed to the Center’s success as it will ensure a qualified labor force. As a delegate I would make every effort to support CTE programs like this one and to expand their reach.
Teachers make a difference. If we value our children, we must value their teachers and support a salary that allows for them to live close to the schools where they teach, as opposed to being forced to commute from other communities. The legislature’s 5% increase in teachers’ salaries in 2019 is a good start, but teacher salaries are still below pre-recession levels and as your delegate I will work to value the teachers who change our children’s lives as fully as possible.
Preschool & Pre-K
Decades of studies prove that kids who attend public preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten than kids who don’t. This is particularly true for children who come from lower income levels. Fully funding pre-K education for all gives every child the fair start they deserve in life and the legislature should make this a priority.