Expanding pre-K and offering homes for teachers anchor Joe Hogsett’s plan for education reform.
Hogsett, a Democrat, began his speech Friday by discussing the recent outbreak of violence, before pivoting to education, saying it’s the key to keeping young people out of prison.
"Our city’s future lies in the classroom. There is simply no greater predictor in determining the path a child takes than their school," he told a gathering of the Kiwanis Club downtown.
He wants to expand pre-Kindergarten opportunities and address the high childhood poverty rate. He also would like give younger teachers the chance to buy city-owned homes at a discount, as a way to attract talented educators.
"I think it’s time that we start being creative in terms of incentivizing teachers," he said.
The program has been tried before -- mostly around police officers and firefighters -- to limited success.
Hogsett is running against Republican Chuck Brewer to succeed Mayor Greg Ballard. Brewer discussed his education platform earlier this summer, which called for more mayoral oversight of the Indianapolis Public School system and simplify enrollment in public schools.
Hogsett's ideas also include a high school completion and college scholarship program.
"The greatest barrier to educational progress in recent years can be found outside the classroom, in parts of our community where students don’t even see college, don’t even think of college as a possibility," he said.
Hogsett would like to replicate a program in Columbus, Indiana that increases tutoring in high schools and offers scholarships to eligible students to state colleges, centered around public-private partnerships.
Brewer released the following statement in response to his opponent's education platform:
A few months ago Joe Hogsett wrote a letter publicly opposing Mayor Greg Ballard’s pre-K education plan. In fact, if Joe Hogsett were mayor today, more than 1,000 low income children per year would be missing out on pre-K education. I’ve been consistently committed to pre-K education and I will work to increase support at the statehouse so we can expand access for more families.