State, education leaders recommend ways to improve education, workforce development

Capitol Bureau

FILE – In this April 15, 2019, file photo, instructors from Raphael House lead a classroom discussion about consent and healthy relationships with a class of sophomores at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore. Most young Americans believe in the value of higher education, but many also believe that a high school diploma alone is enough for success, and they view job training as better preparation than any type of college degree, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Governor’s Council on Education met on Thursday to provide Gov. Laura Kelly with five recommendations that improve schools, enhance workforce development, and stimulate economic growth in Kansas.

The recommendations included ensuring that all children and families have access to early learning services, and incorporating work-based learning in K-12 classrooms.

Council Co-Chair Cynthia Lane said that many of the neighboring states have already figured out how to do both of these and that if Kansas is also able to provide this, it will put the state at a competitive advantage.

“It initially gets us in the same playing field with our competitors, but also gives us the advantage to…attract and retain talent across the entire state to make sure that our economy is growing,” Council co-chair Cynthia Lane said.

The council members, whom are stakeholders in the education, child welfare, labor, advocacy, and business community, think all children and families should have access to early childhood education.

This will provide promotional learning services to children 4 years old and younger.

In order to provide these services across the state, private fundraising would have to occur, Lane said. She also said that adding work-based learning to the curriculum of K-12 students will prepare them for their future jobs.

Beginning in elementary school, the students would become more aware of possible careers. This would continue into middle school with further exploration of career options. High schools would then prepare their students more intensively to develop a plan of what career they would like to partake in.

“We hope and we anticipate that they will have the credentials to immediately start in those high-pay, high-demand, critical needs jobs,” Lane said.

The Council was made up of separate committees that researched the best practices.

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