444th MD Legislative Session

New Educational Opportunities

New Educational Opportunities

Ryan and Avery Szeliga join Mom-mom at work

Ryan and Avery Szeliga join Mom-mom at work

As a former educator, mom, and grandmother, education remains a top priority.

With our public schools closed for so many months, the impact on children from the pandemic has been terrible. It has been especially difficult for young learners and at-risk kids. There must be a recognition of the learning loss and a focus on getting kids basic skills up to grade level.

Allowing kids to be promoted simply because of their age is not a good educational policy. I am advocating for extra help for all kids and reasonable assessments for parents and students to know they are at least on grade level. If kids have not mastered reading, writing and math by the end of 3rd grade, they will struggle though the rest of their schooling and even throughout life.

Additionally, I am introducing a bill to help increase vocational education opportunities for kids in high school. The current system requires ALL teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, regardless of their background or skill set. My legislation will create an alternative certification for teachers of the trades like cosmetology, carpentry, machinists, masonry, plumbing, etc.

If we are going to increase opportunities for kids to learn vocational skills, there must be instructors available. Expecting a machinist to need a bachelor’s degree to teach is ludicrous for all the obvious reasons. Furthermore, we must expand internships and work experiences for high school kids. If we don’t take some actions now to expand career opportunities in vocational and technical areas, good luck finding a plumber, electrician or carpenter when you need one in ten years.

There are great jobs available for kids that do not require a college degree but we are failing to offer those opportunities to kids.