The Texas Education Agency is considering ending cosmetology programs in the state. The reason they're giving is probably the dumbest thought process I've ever heard of as well.

According to a recent report the TEA says its considering cutting certain high school courses because they don't end up paying people a high enough salary when the students enter the workforce. That statement belies a much deeper problem in our educational system.

High school should not just be an intermediary step towards college or university programs. Around one third of high school students do not go to college and instead enter vocational programs, or the work force. And we NEED those students and careers too! College isn't the only option and telling our students that it is, I think is completely wrong. Not every person should go to college. America needs tradespeople and other workers too! In fact we're so inundated with college graduates that they can't even find jobs and move back home, while millions of good paying positions in the trades remain unfilled. As a country we need to do better in finding out what our kids excel at and encourage them to follow that path. And that path can be into a university for a higher degree, or straight to a trade school where they can start working and earning a living MUCH faster than a 4 year really expensive school.

So when the TEA says that they want to cut some programs because they don't think it will pay someone enough, that's a completely backwards way to look at this. We should be able to encourage students to follow whatever path will benefit them best! Cosmetology works for thousands of students in Texas every year, and they can make more money than the reports are claiming. So stop cutting good trade skills from our high schools, and add more of them because I guarantee you can find a job as a mechanic or cutting hair right now a LOT faster than you could with most college degrees. Besides, when did it become the state's job to tell our kids that the job they want to do won't pay them enough? Never. That's not their place.