FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Several teacher and education associations across Northeast Indiana are fighting for public school funding.
In an advertisement posted in the Journal Gazette, the associations described the last 10 years as a “Decade of Destruction.” The ad says that public schools never recovered from when former Governor Mitch Daniels cut $300 million from its funding in 2010.
Just one year later, Indiana State Legislature authorized the creation of a voucher program, which according to the ad, diverts public tax dollars to private schools.
“At least 163 out of 291 school districts have passed resolutions speaking against the legislation that will have a negative impact on public education funding,” the ad said
If the state legislator’s bills are passed, out of the $377 million estimated increase in K-12 spending private, ESA and the voucher program will receive $144 million and public education would receive $233 million, according to the ad. This would be a $957 per student increase for those in private, ESA or the voucher program and a $266 per student increase for public education.
Over 90% of students in Indiana attend public schools.
Another argument presented in the ad is that the pending legislation will cut funding for some public school’s career and tech education classes such as commercial photography, culinary arts, and radio and TV.
The associations fighting for public funding include Angola Classroom Teacher Association, Central Noble Teachers Association, East Noble Education Association, Eastern DeKalb Education Association, Fremont Classroom Teachers Association, Garrett-Keyser-Butler Education Association, Hamilton Community Classroom Teachers Association, Lakeland Education Association, Middlebury Teachers Association, Prairie Heights Education Association, Smith Green Classroom Teachers Association, West Noble Classroom Teachers Association, Westview Education Association, Whitko Classroom Teachers Association and Whitley County Teachers Association.
The ad is asking the public to contact their 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 800-382-9467 for Senate Representatives.
The last day the legislators will be in session for the bills is April 21.