Governor Tom Vilsack this past week added a new goal to his education agenda: having 90 percent of Iowa high schoolers go on to college or a training school.Vilsack says just one-third of Iowa workers have had some college experience, and he says that translates into lower wages since those who hold a college degree have the potential to earn a million dollars more over their lifetime compared to someone who holds just a high school diploma. He says increasing the number of Iowa kids who go to college will improve the state’s economy.On the other end of the spectrum,over 90 percent of Iowa kids now can attend all-day kindergarten — a dramatic increase from a dozen years ago when only a quarter of schools offered all-day kindergarten. But Vilsack wants more, a goal he first discussed during the campaign.Vilsack says setting the goal of having preschool available to 90 percent of Iowa kids would help address the achievement gap that shows poor kids get a slower start in school. Vilsack also wants more Iowa high schools to help students get college credit while they’re still in high school. Vilsack says many high schoolers want to be intellectually challenged.Also this week, Vilsack announced he’ll create a P-through-16 Council to focus on creating a seamless preschool through college education system.
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