INDIANAPOLIS – Today, the Governor released his education priorities for the 2017 General Assembly. As anticipated, he believes the time is right for Indiana to move from an elected state superintendent to an appointed position. This topic is not a new one for consideration, as it has surfaced during previous legislative sessions. “I do not view this as a personal reflection of my ability or willingness to effectively work with the Governor,” noted Superintendent-elect Jennifer McCormick. “While I value the notion of a separation of powers between the Governor and state superintendent, I fully recognize that the governor and state superintendent must work collaboratively.” McCormick noted she understands this decision will be a difficult one for legislators and values the voice of all constituents.
The Governor’s desire to expand early childhood opportunities will be readily supported by Dr. McCormick. Like the Governor, she has been an advocate for expanding the important and beneficial pilot preschool scholarship program, currently serving low-income children in five Indiana counties. If more money is dedicated, legislators will face tough choices as to how this expansion occurs, which counties are eligible, and whether the focus will remain solely on children of low-income families.
Support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) will also be a priority of the Governor. McCormick recognizes the importance of engaging students, beginning at a young age, to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is within these domains students employ critical thinking and become problem-solvers using structured approaches. “It is through the meaningful acquisition of these skill sets that students increase their readiness for life beyond high school, whether that be higher education opportunities or careers,” stated McCormick. Important to this STEM initiative, as well as to offering teachers and students greater access to technology-rich environments, Dr. McCormick welcomes the Governor’s desire to match E-rate funding to support schools’ acquisition of affordable broadband.