Local teacher speaks out against state education bills
To the Editor:
I am very concerned about proposed legislation that will adversely affect education as we see it.
Several teacher associations across Indiana are fighting for public school funding. You see, public schools have never recovered from when former Gov. Mitch Daniels cut $300 million from its funding in 2010.
Just one year after the funding cut (2011), Indiana State Legislature authorized the creation of a voucher program, which diverts public tax dollars to private schools.
Currently, at least 163 out of 291 school districts in Indiana (approximately 56 percent) have passed resolutions speaking against the legislation that will have a negative impact on public education funding.
If the state legislators’ bills are passed, of the $377 million estimated to increase in K-12 spending, public education would receive $233 million while private, charter, homeschool, ESA and the voucher programs will receive $144 million.
Don’t let the numbers fool you. Over 90 percent of students in Indiana attend public schools. This would be a $957 per student increase for those in private, charter, homeschool, ESA or the voucher program and a $266 per student increase for public education. This is a huge disparity.
If this legislation is not decisively rejected, the future of public education in Indiana is bleak. Our hard working but demoralized teachers and administrators in Indiana would take this bill as a signal that the General Assembly is ready to put public education into a death spiral, and some would confirm plans to leave for other states or other vocations, making our teacher shortage even worse.
We need your help.
Please contact your legislators and urge them to vote “no” on any bill that expands the voucher system, creates education savings accounts and cuts funding for Career and Tech Ed courses.
The phone number for House representatives is 800-382-9842 and for Senate representatives it is 800-382-9467.
Sen. Rodric Bray – email@example.com
Sen. John Crane – firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Beau Baird - email@example.com
The last day that legislators will be in session for the bills is April 21.
I thank you in advance for your support. I am more than happy to sit down with anyone to explain the situation further if you would like.
Greencastle Classroom Teachers Association