Mike Pence On Education: 7 Things The Vice-Presidential Candidate Wants You To Know

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“School choice is where it’s at,” proclaimed the presumptive GOP presidential nomineeDonald Trump on Saturday as he announced his selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running-mate. Pence, who has a long record of promoting educational choice initiatives in his home state, is married to a school teacher and supports bonuses for excellent performance by teachers.

Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Tuesday, July 19, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)

He was elected to six terms in Congress and voted against President George Bush’s signature education legislation, No Child Left Behind, because he considered it a move toward federal control over K-12 education. As governor of Indiana, he rejected Common Core curriculum standards and pulled Indiana out of the PARCC multi-state testing consortium in favor of in-state testing.

Here are some of his views on education:

Charter schools:

We are seeking to adjust funding for public charter schools that will allow more communities in Indiana to offer more choices for families and their kids, and attract more investment for education innovation in Indiana – investment that is currently going to other states.

Quality Education Day at Indiana Statehouse, February 2015

Accountability is important, but testing must be reliable and the results fairly applied. Let’s take a step back from ISTEP (Indiana’s state test) and improve on the test we use to measure our kids and schools every year. Let’s also take action to ensure that our teachers and schools are treated fairly with the results of the latest ISTEP test.

Leaders in both parties and the Department of Education are working with our administration, and I promise you we will make sure the 2015 test scores fairly reflect the performance of our schools and will not affect teacher bonuses or compensation.

State of the State address, January 2016, Indianapolis

Merit pay for teachers:

We want to get more good teachers in more classrooms. So how do you get more good teachers like my wife? You get more good teachers by paying good teachers more. And that’s just what we have been doing. This year we awarded $30 million in bonuses to teachers in 1,300 schools. Building on that success, we will provide another $63 million for performance bonuses and refocus resources on the classroom. More freedom for our schools and more dollars in our classrooms will pay dividends for generations.

Quality Education Day at Indiana Statehouse, February 2015

Pre-K education:

We will invest $10 million a year to fund scholarships for our new pre-K pilot, because every Hoosier child deserves to start school ready to learn.

Because of the success of our first-ever, state-funded pre-K pilot program, I am committed to opening doors of opportunity to serve even more disadvantaged children in our state. Since the On My Way Pre-K pilot program has come online, we’ve served 2,300 kids in the five pilot project counties. I am committed to growing this program using state and available federal resources.

Letter to the Indiana Department of Health and Human Services , June 2016

Vocational education:

With nearly $50 million in new funding, Indiana has become the first state in America to make career and vocational education a priority in every high school again.

State of the State address, January 2016


We will improve the largest school choice program in America by lifting the arbitrary $4,800 cap on the dollar amount for (K-8) vouchers and supporting efforts to raise the cap on the choice scholarship tax credit program.

Personal education background:

Michael Richard Pence, 57, was born and raised in Columbus, Indiana, graduated from Columbus North High School and went on to graduate from Hanover College in Madison, Ind., 1981 with a history degree. He was active in Christian organizations, served as president of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity and delivered the senior class address at graduation. He worked as an admissions counselor for two years at Hanover before going on to earn his law degree from Indiana University School of Law in 1986. He ran for Congress twice before winning in 2000. He was elected governor in 2012.



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