The educational success of all children should be a shared commitment of educators, parents and community. The delivery of quality education is a vehicle that gives each person the opportunity to develop their potential. This requires the alignment of expectations and funding so policies and practices support high quality education systems. I am committed to working collaboratively with legislators, parents, community members and educators to ensure the success of our children.
Higher education which includes community colleges, trades schools and other post- secondary options is necessary for a robust and sustainable community. However the increasing costs associated with participation is becoming prohibitive for most families and individuals. According to CollegeCal, the average annual in state costs of attending a community college is $5,390 this represents a 6.20 % increase from 2012 to 2014. The average in state costs of a four year institution is $17,628 which also represents a 6.19% increase from 2012 to 2014. There are also the challenges of addressing online educational opportunities and the under preparation of students for college participation.
Work has begun to increase participation in programs such as the Early College Alliance and Middle Tech High School. These programs allow enrollees to accrue college level credits while in high school and serve to improve graduation rates. I will work to expand these types of options making them available to more of our children. These kinds of programs reduce the overall costs of college attendance.
The proposed State of Michigan budget may provide a slight increase in the appropriation for higher education as a beginning step in illustrating the importance of education to Michiganians.