Ask Legislature to fund public schools fairly

To the editor:

Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Indiana House Education Committee, the legislative committee that decides which education bills will get a vote on the House floor, will hear testimony on House Bill 1005. This will allow the state to increase the amount of money going to private school vouchers as well as increase the number of people that qualify by raising the income limit.

The proposed increase for the K-12 education budget is $377 million. This legislation would take $200 million from that increase leaving public schools with only a $177 million increase for the next two years, (Source: Dr. Jennifer McCormick, former Indiana state superintendent). Over 90% of Indiana’s children attend public schools and less than 10% attend private schools, yet this legislation allows for the smaller group to receive the larger increase in funds. The taxpayers of Dubois County that support all four school districts also have to support someone who chooses to send their child to a private school in Indianapolis, Gary, Fort Wayne, or any other town that is not in Dubois County. These private and charter schools across the state have received money from the federal PPP Loan Program (most of which will be forgiven) that totaled millions of dollars. (https://www.federalpay.org/paycheck-protection-program), yet they still want more.

This is not about school choice. Parents have always had the ability to choose the type of schooling for their children in Indiana. This issue is about how we fund our schools, and we must ask our State Legislature to make good use of our tax dollars and fund our public schools fairly. Our public schools need increased funding, teachers need to better pay and families need their public schools which are the very heart of our communities.

Please contact Representatives Lindauer and Bartels and ask them to oppose HB 1005.

—Teresa Kendall
Jasper




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