Mike Johnston on Education
A: It will be done in exchange for students offering meaningful service to the state, like a National Guard, where they would do 4 or 5 weekends a year. It could be fire mitigation, trail repair, flood prevention--things we need. And if there are instances of a crisis, that corps is available to be called up
Q: The idea of state service has been out there for a while. Why has it been so hard to put something like that into place?
A: Our plan is unique in that most other service proposals are all full-time service proposals. You'd be an AmeriCorps volunteer who's working 60 hours a week in a school, or you would be working for a WPA-style program 50 hours a week--full-time programs for full-time benefits, which makes them much more expensive and much more complicated to administer. But the idea of the National Guard version is, you can still have your day job, and when Colorado calls you, you get summoned up.
"It provides no incentive for someone to improve their practice," he said. "It provides no accountability to actual student outcomes. It's the classic driver of, 'I taught it, they didn't learn it, not my problem.' It has a decimating impact on morale among staff, because some people can work hard, some can do nothing, and it doesn't matter."
The details of his promise to provide debt-free college and career training remains unclear. He declined to put a price tag on the plan or explain how to pay for it, maintaining that it would be near revenue-neutral.
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Senate Votes (analysis)