Vic’s Statehouse Notes #356 – looming threats and flaws
With only three days left in this General Assembly session, a dangerous threat to our state remains to be fixed. Education Scholarship Accounts are still in the budget bill, and the bill language does not protect Indiana from extremists, from criminals or from the sudden elimination of all standards and accountability.
Will you send messages today and tomorrow to your legislators and to party leaders who are deciding what will go into the budget about these looming threats and flaws that could be fixed with last minute additions to the bill language?
Fix the Flaws!
What are the glaring problems that have still not been fixed in the current budget bill language on Education Scholarship Accounts?
1. No standards. The bill sets no standards at all for ESA parent grants! Under the radical ESA proposal, all a parent needs to do to get the money (approx. $7000) that normally goes to schools is to fill out a simple online application saying their student will study basic subjects.
Tell legislators to amend this bill to require the appropriate ILEARN test to hold parents accountable for the money from taxpayers.
2. No protection from extremism. In an era when extremist ideology is a major concern, there is no protection in this ESA language from funding home schools run by extremist parents using your tax dollars. This is a clear threat to our democracy.
Tell legislators to amend this bill to require a signed assurance in the application process that the parent receiving the money will support the U.S. and the Indiana Constitutions, an assurance that is now required of private schools for them to get voucher money.
3. No criminal background checks. While teachers and even school volunteers must pass criminal background checks to work with students, parents of eligible students can get approximately $7000 of taxpayer money for their home school with no criminal background check regarding previous child abuse, neglect or fraud charges.
Tell legislators to amend this bill to require a criminal background check as part of the application process to get taxpayer money for a home school.
Thank you for making one more push to protect public education in Indiana.
Grassroots support of public education makes all the difference. Thank you for your active support of public schools in Indiana!
Vic Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
“Vic’s Statehouse Notes” and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!
ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. We need your membership to help support ICPE lobbying efforts. As of July 1st, the start of our new membership year, it is time for all ICPE members to renew their membership.
Our lobbyist Joel Hand is representing ICPE extremely well in the extraordinary 2021 budget session. We need your memberships and your support to continue his work. We welcome additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!
Go to www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!
Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:
I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998. In 2013 I was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education, and in 2014 I was honored to be named to the Teacher Education Hall of Fame by the Association for Teacher Education – Indiana. In April of 2018, I was honored to receive the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Indiana State Teachers Association.