Governor Jim Pillen talks about education goals this legislative session

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 9:21 AM CST
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen has made many financial promises towards increasing state aid for educational institutes across Nebraska. Wednesday, he gave his state of the state speech address to the Nebraska Legislature at the State Capitol Building, hitting home on fulfilling his promises in his newly proposed budget.

Governor Pillen also sat down with News 2 to discuss his initial thoughts on the current legislative session and what he wants to get accomplished.

Pillen says one of his main goals is taking care of Nebraska’s kids, and making sure they stay in Nebraska, which isn’t happening as much as he’d like.

“We’re number 49. We’re number 49 rank in state funding to take care of our kids, and no pun intended, but that’s hogwash. That’s what has to change, and that’s what this is,” said Pillen. “This is about investing in our kids, and making the state more responsible and getting off the back of property taxpayers.”

Pillen also says too many kids are skipping out on higher education after high school. He’s encouraging support for all secondary education institutes, especially trade schools.

“A four-year degree is not for every kid. We’ve got to be student-centric focused, and we’ve got to fit the need of every kid,” said Pillen. “There’s a whole lot of kids who are awesome with their hands, they’re awesome with tangible things, and all trade schools fit that bill.”

Pillen plans to invest in Nebraska’s kids by investing about $1.25 billion in state education over the next two years, primarily for the 180 school districts across Nebraska that he says don’t receive equalization aid.