My compassion for each and every one of my students and their families compels me to be a strong voice in support of robust public school funding that includes an array of services to address more than just the students’ academic needs. When public schools are well-funded we can do more than educate children: we can feed them, provide them with physical and psychological wellness services, direct them to programs that can help them purchase eye-glasses, counsel them on their career and higher education options, and provide a safe, quiet place to study that is equipped with the computers and software they need to do their homework and conduct research. Many of our students do not get all this at home. When we provide all these services at school, we increase the chances these students will leave us and become productive citizens.
Charter Schools can provide an important alternative for students whose needs are not met in traditional public schools, and Delaware has some excellent Charter Schools that have become an integral part of their communities. To the extent that Charter Schools are accessible to students of all socio-economic backgrounds, meet the needs of their students, including those with learning differences, and are accountable to the tax-payers who fund them, I support them.
Delaware’s six vocational high schools are exemplary models of how we can prepare young people to enter the workforce with a skill that gives them access to well-paid jobs straight out of high school. Skilled workers are always in demand, and for this reason the Vo-Tech schools in Delaware have forged strong partnerships with businesses that employ their graduates. Vo-tech HS students have the most options upon graduation: they can work in the trade they learned while in school, they can go to college, or they can work and continue their education at the same time. Many of them enter apprenticeship programs where they continue their education and gain invaluable experience under the tutelage of master tradespeople.