Education & Workforce Training

The state’s education system, early learning, K-12, and post-secondary, is the base by which our state’s workforce is developed and it is important that business be part of the education conversation. The majority of Washington State’s operating budget is dedicated to the state’s education systems. The break down is approximately, 86% to k-12 schools, 13% to higher ed and 1% to early childhood learning. 

I was asked: Please provide your thoughts about how the state spends its education funding. How would you suggest the state’s education systems, early learning, K-12 and post-secondary work together to ensure the next generation of workforce is prepared, aware of their opportunities, and well-trained?

My Response

I believe in a solid education system with well-paid teachers funded at the state level.

I will start with the laws relating to the Teachers Union contract. Transparency is an important issue and the concept of the union negotiating with the Governor in secret and presenting the results to the legislature in an up or down vote with no amendments allowed is part of the reason that our K-12 education system is so expensive. I will work to open the labor union contracts.

I do not support unilaterally negotiated union contracts with public officials that are elected with the help of forced union dues. That is fundamentally unfair to the taxpayers and the students.
Not all students should or want to go to college. I will work to enhance the training at the high school and community college level for skilled labor training and education. The American economy is an ever-changing landscape of opportunity and growth. It needs a wide range of skills to be effective.

My high school had a ‘college bound’ program and a ‘shop’ program which was closely coordinated with the local machine tool industry. About one third of the students were in the shop program. That system set those students up for a good job after high school graduation that has served them well over the decades. I will build on that experience.

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