Kokomo High School students questioned Gov. Mike Pence’s policies and ideas Thursday when he stopped by for a visit.
Pence was in Kokomo for Chrysler’s economic development announcement. After he left the Chrysler Transmission Plant, he headed for the halls of Kokomo High School.
The governor told school officials he wanted to get inside a classroom and talk to a group of students.
Education was a topic of discussion when he met with 75 juniors and seniors.
Pence said he wanted to make sure the state’s schools were working for all kids.
High school should be a place where kids can find their passions, he said.
“You should go to college,” he told the students. “Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.”
But not all students will go to college, he said. That’s why the state should make vocational education a priority, he said.
Kokomo High School is a leader in that regard, Pence said.
The governor took a tour of the high school’s career center. He visited the welding program and automotive program.
Before he did that, though, he gave a group of juniors and seniors the opportunity to quiz him on anything.
Senior Morgan Mohr was the first to ask a question.
“You said voters didn’t know enough about your tax cuts,” she said.
She challenged the governor to convince her it’s better to cut taxes than to spend more money on things like education and roads.
Pence told her the state has a large budget surplus, and state government is not in the business of accumulating wealth.
“We need to let Hoosiers keep more of what they earned,” he said. “This is a tough time for families.”
And Indiana is competing with other states for jobs right now, he said. Lowering taxes might encourage businesses to invest here.