Career technical and adult education programs deserve more state funding for renovation and equipment upgrades, Gov. Mike DeWine said on Jan. 23 at the Ohio ACTE Legislative Seminar in Columbus.
“As we look to the future, and as we work with the Legislature, this is a governor who is going to be very mindful of how important the career centers are,” DeWine said in his remarks to the 200 attendees gathered for the 39th annual Ohio ACTE Legislative Seminar.
“I don’t come here with a specific proposal, but I’m telling you that we want to work with you on that, to figure out how to make your life easier -- and that’s not really the important part -- what’s really important are the kids we are trying to reach,” Gov. DeWine said to the audience.
DeWine also said he wants to help change parents’ perceptions of what career technical education entails, noting many don’t realize how much it has evolved over the last two decades.
“I think part of the job of the governor, frankly, is to talk about that and to maybe change the culture a little bit so the parents understand what really goes on in career centers today,” he said. DeWine also said it’s also important for students to understand that attending a career center won’t preclude them from qualifying to enroll in a four-year college or university.
“Career-technical educators at career centers, comprehensive and compact delivery models appreciate that Gov. DeWine understands and supports their efforts to help students find their talents and assist businesses in finding the employees they need,” said Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director after Gov. DeWine’s remarks.
Gov. DeWine said people too often talk about education generally, even though “every kid is different.”
“Fran and I see that in our own family. We have a son who has a Ph.D. in botany and is an organic farmer. We have an inner-city school teacher. We have one that runs a minor-league baseball team. We have a stay-at-home mom. We have one who’s a judge, and one who’s an assistant prosecutor. I guess I missed a couple, but you sort of get the idea. It’s diversity -- same parents, same upbringing supposedly, and they’re different. They just all had different passions. So what you’re doing is helping to give these kids a passion, and you’re helping them get the tools to succeed,” DeWine said.
DeWine said like him, most people can think of at least a few teachers who changed their lives.
“We’ve got to hold up these teachers. Many of them, in your schools, have left a career where they were making a lot more money. You can’t pay them what they used to make, but they got to a point in their life where they decided, ‘I want to do this. I want to give back. I want to make a difference.’ So it’s very, very exciting, what you all are doing. We’re going to work with you and work with the state Legislature to be as helpful as we can,” DeWine said.