Last night I attended the candidate forum for State House Districts 25 and 26. I submitted a question about restoring funding to the technical school system. MaryJane and Primo responded in a knowledgeable way that showed they understand tech colleges and our local tech school in particular. The Stripes on the other hand didn't really address re-funding the system. Here's what Mark Smith, District 25 rep. said and these are his exact words: "We don't need a robust technical school system" because private companies would rather train their workers themselves. I was gobsmacked! (and troubled, as this guy is my rep.)
What she wrote is technically correct and maybe true. I think. I don't remember Smith's exact words. What I remember is what he went on to say, which was that employers want someone who can do basic math, who knows what a right triangle is, who can read and write. Employers want people who are trainable. Smith said that what we really need to focus on is the k-12 system - that it is not serving employer needs.
And I agree with him.
For the record? This woman works for the tech school. I don't know what her salary is, but the woman in charge of the cosmetology program makes $132,000 a year plus benefits. The teacher contract at that school says the teachers will work no more than 32 hours a week. The cosmetology program doesn't run in the summer.
I think there might be room for some fiscal improvement.