On Tuesday evening, newly-elected Governor Mike Pence gave his first State of the State address to the residents of Indiana. Clearly, Governor Pence is in favor of strengthening the education system in the Hoosier state, as well as making sure that children are receiving the care they need to thrive and succeed.
Early in his speech, Governor Pence outlined the proposed budget, stating that, "education represents 64 percent of all state expenditures." Fully-funded teacher pensions for the next two years, as well as additional funding for full-day kindergarten were included in this figure.
Governor Pence went on to say that, "High-quality early education programs can have immediate and long-term positive effects for our kids." What are some of the benefits of early childhood education? According to The State of the Young Hoosier Child (birth to age 5) compiled in 2011, "Preschool programs have been found to boost school readiness by strengthening academic skills including reading and math." Since kindergarteners must now complete more requirements in reading and math than their counterparts of the '80s and '90s, any knowledge acquired prior to beginning elementary school would only be beneficial and increase their chance of success. In addition, playing with other children and learning to work together cooperatively are important social and emotional skills needed for healthy development. In a quality early education setting, children will also gain experience with science experiments, social studies, art and music, further preparing them to enter the world of formal education.
Governor Pence summed up and concluded his remarks regarding life in the Hoosier state. "We can put Hoosiers back to work and make Indiana first - first in job creation, first in education, and first in quality of life." Indiana's new governor hit the nail on the head.