Education Not a Major Focus in State of the State
While education was not completely passed over in Governor Snyder's third State of the State address, it was certainly not front and center. The Governor did lay out four education-related priorities in his speech, though, not surprisingly, he provided few details on what the implementation of these proposals would look like. A clearer picture will have to wait until Governor Snyder rolls out his executive budget recommendation on February 4, 2013.
The education initiatives highlighted in Governor Snyder's speech are as follows:
Education Achievement Authority (EAA)
The Governor reiterated his support for the EAA, asserting the success of the experimental format used in the 15 schools currently under EAA control. He urged the Legislature to pass legislation quickly to codify the existing EAA schools and allow for expansion of the program to other schools in the State’s lowest performing 5 percent.
Skilled Trades Training
The Governor mentioned several times during his speech that he intends to increase training for skilled trades and place a special emphasis on connected skilled workers with vacant jobs requiring those skills. Specifically, he said that his budget recommendation will also seek to amplify skilled trade training and the important work already being done by community colleges. Without details, it is impossible to say exactly what implications this might have for secondary education.
Great Start Readiness Program/Early Childhood Funding
The Governor stated his support for an expansion of early childhood education programs, specifically focusing on ensuring an education for all of the 29,000 children who are eligible for the Great Start Readiness Program. He indicated that his budget recommendation would increase coverage in order for more children to receive early childhood education.
Pathways to Potential
This initiative, launched by the Michigan Department of Human Services, seeks to help families better access state and private support and assistance programs by putting social workers in targeted schools with high at risk populations. Governor Snyder called for expanding the program, which currently operates in 21 schools, to 135 buildings by February of this year.