We have 7 in our region. Seven. Back 30 years ago when I was in HS, this was where the "zoofs" went to study auto repair or the zoof girls to learn beauty. Academics was an afterthought. It wasn't half of the curriculum. Today, all 7 Vok's in my area compete for students. They have waiting lists every year. They have programs in computer science, finish carpentry, landscape & design, natural science & conservation, and such. Very modern. Very decent academics. Very expensive programs to run. (All the same costs for staffing a normal HS, plus all the equipment and supplies for the various vocational programs.) Should the "state" (actually the cities, towns and counties here) be involved in non-essential education??? I think most who have studied history would agree that basic public education is vital to the success of a society. But should we be on the hook for vocational training as well? Or is that something the individual should figure out themselves. 50 years ago, my uncle joined the Army to learn diesel mechanics. Should someone get a free education in that during HS now? I'm curious what the thoughts are here. I'm in the middle right now. I've never given it much thought but am friends with a teacher (who does art, silk-screening, and banner production at one of the Vok's) and this thought has popped into my head.