Gov. Shumlin deserves credit for focusing his entire inaugural address on education. What could be more important to Vermont than having a high-quality, cost-effective education system that produces results?
In his address, the governor highlighted the importance of high-quality early childhood education and acknowledged that, currently, many Vermont children are showing up for kindergarten “not ready to learn.” He spoke about the brain science that tells us that 90 percent of the core development of a child’s brain occurs before the age of 3 and for a child of any income level to have a chance to reach their potential, they need to get off to a good start — starting at birth.
The governor “connected the dots” by suggesting that quality early childhood education leads to K-12 success. We know this, in turn, leads to more students continuing on to pursue some form of higher education, which ultimately leads to a trained workforce and a strong economy.
The governor is right to suggest that Vermont should have the best education system in the country. To get there, we will need to make some tough choices, pay attention to the research and what works, and use our resources strategically. The governor has shown that he is ready to lead on education and has suggested that this is the best path to a healthy and robust economy. We, at The Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children, commend the governor for bringing attention to this important issue and look forward to working with the Legislature to create a quality education system for all Vermonters.
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