ICPE 2022 Legislative Scorecard
LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD REVEALS PRO-PUBLIC EDUCATION INDIANA LEGISLATORS
Twenty-eight percent of the members of the Indiana House of Representatives voted to support public schools while only 16 percent of Indiana State Senators aligned with the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. ICPE is a bi-partisan, not-for-profit volunteer organization which advocates for public schools.
“ICPE urges voters who value public education to use the Legislative Scorecard as they decide how to vote on Election Day, November 8,” said ICPE President Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer.
The legislators’ scores were based on several key bills which were priorities for ICPE in the 2021 and 2022 legislative sessions. Those bills can be found on the Scorecard.
“The nearly unanimous support from our legislators for the 2021 HB 1384, the Civics Education bill, demonstrates we all share a desire to see our children graduate from school with a deep understanding of civics and what it means to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable citizen of this country. The fact that this unity did not translate into a broad support for teaching truth in history and for creating a learning environment in which all children feel welcome and respected is a shame,” Fuentes-Rohwer said.
Curriculum content reflected in legislation was not the only issue on which legislators were scored. The expansion of vouchers, creation of Education Scholarship Accounts, ESAs, and attempts to force public schools to share referendum dollars with charter schools reflect the move to redirect public tax dollars into private hands– a pro-privatization effort that ICPE staunchly opposes. Indiana spent nearly a quarter of a billion dollars on private school vouchers last school year alone.
“At a time when our children are suffering from the effects of the pandemic, mental health issues, disrupted learning, trauma, to name a few– we hoped our legislators would lean in and ask, “What do public schools need to support our kids and teachers?” Instead, we saw the further draining of resources and attacks on educators fueled by extremists which distracted us from what our kids really need,” she said.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education Legislative Scorecard also acknowledges bi-partisan support for kids and schools during the pandemic when almost all legislators voted for SB 2 in 2021 which ensured schools would receive 100 percent of their per-pupil tuition support when they were providing virtual instruction at the height of a national emergency. Furthermore, in 2022, HB 1093 suspended the use of letter grades to judge schools on their effectiveness during the pandemic.
“While we are glad to see these small areas where legislators, regardless of party, can come together for our kids, we are frustrated by the continued attack on our public schools. After 11 years of following public education as an organization, it is clear we need a change in policy. To do that, clearly, we need a change in policy makers,” said Fuentes-Rohwer, president of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education.