Indiana schools chief proposes statewide pre-K education

On Tuesday June 7th 2016, Superintendent for Indiana state schools, Glenda Ritz, called upon Governor Mike Pence and the Legislature for school reform. Ritz wants Indiana to adopt a universal pre-k education program that anyone would of age would be able to attend. This program would allow all people regardless of income to be able to send their children to preschool free of charge. Getting this passed is going to be one tough task. Glenda Ritz is the only elected official who is a democrat and will have a hard time convincing the Republican Legislature and Governor to pass such a progressive bill.

There are only a few states that do not offer a functioning pre-kindergarten program and Indiana is one of them. Behind on the times, Glenda Ritz is trying to push Indiana into the 21st century. Some of the biggest skeptic of this proposed bill are tea party groups. In short, they believe almost everything should be privatized and government should be as small as possible. Spending taxpayers money on education is frowned upon by such groups. They believe citizen protection and minimal taxation helps preserve personal liberties. Funding this would divert funds from other things taking up the budget or Indiana would have to raise more money through taxation. Along with tea party groups; home schoolers and religious conservatives all are also opposed to receiving federal financial support.

Governor Pence is an advocate for getting children ready for kindergarten and for people of all social classes to be able to participate, he once said. Unfortunately for the kids that he wanted to help he rejected $80 million dollars in federal grants to support a similar proposition. He believed that with the money provided by the federal government that “federal intrusion” would occur. Fearing that he would lose control of this project primarily funded by the federal government.

Glenda Ritz urged on that by using less than 1% of the state budget most children in the state of Indiana can be kindergarten ready. She is determined to get this program on the roll. Ritz claims that regardless of the politics of the matter she will get this program implemented.

“When it comes to disadvantaged kids, the benefits of opening doors of access to early childhood education is very significant and that’s what we’ll focus on…I think it’s important that whatever we do in the years ahead that it’s voluntary, but also that parents would be able to use those resources at a public, a private or even a faith based pre-K program.” Pence said.

Implementation of this program would cost less than 1% of the annual budget and everyone in the state can reap the benefits. Children from all backgrounds will be able to get prepared for kindergarten. Glenda Ritz may have an ally in Pence if she can iron out the financials involved in a program such as this one. For now, tea party groups, homeschooling networks and religious conservatives will have their way.


How to Prepare Your Kids for a Long, Hard College Education

18 years fly by. Before you know it, the baby you took home from the hospital is loading up to go to college, leaving you sobbing in the rearview mirror. Will your kids succeed and accomplish the goals they have set for themselves? Here are five tips to ensure they are prepared for the long road to a college degree.


Take time to talk to your kids about college.

The only information your child hears about college should not come from the school counselor or the Internet. Let’s face it, although the counselor means well, your child is but one of many. Share your college experience with your child (the appropriate parts, of course). What study methods worked for you? Did you have a hard time balancing social time and coursework? How did you solve this dilemma? By telling your child these things, you are getting their wheels turning, and they are preparing mentally about how they might handle future obstacles.


Teach your kids basic survival skills.

Teach your kids how to scramble an egg, change a flat tire, write a check, and schedule their own doctor’s appointment. These mundane things may seem insignificant while your child is in middle and high school, but when they reach college, they will be thankful you’ve taken the time to prepare them for adult life.


Encourage your child to enroll in college courses while still in high school.

Moving to a college campus can be a shock in itself. Add the new people, freedom, and experiences, and it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed. This is before you even consider the college courses. Encourage your children to take several college classes before they graduate. This will expose them to the way a college course operates, what to expect from college professors, and hopefully, start their college career off with good grades.


Show your child what good work ethic looks like.

If your child sees you putting off important work deadlines, rolling out of bed an hour after your alarm went off, and not caring about your career, they are likely to inherit this attitude. Children notice what their parents do, the amount of effort they put into their jobs, and they absorb this like osmosis. Unfortunately, a college education doesn’t work this way. Kids must push themselves, stay focused, and dedicate time to achieve a degree. They learn this by the example their parents set for them.


Love them, but let your kids make their own mistakes.

Shower your children with unconditional love. Love them on the days they are in horrible moods, the days that you are in a horrible moods, and on the days where you just feel like you have no extra love to give. Support them, show them you care, but let them make their own mistakes. College is a time for mistakes and personal growth. Let your kids fall and pick themselves up. Resist the urge to jump in the car and drive 90 MPH down the highway just to have a conversation with the professor that you child should have handled. You’ve raised them well, now let that show.