It was confirmed in a survey in my mailbox.
A direct attack on public education is coming in the short session starting January 3rd. Public education parents and advocates need to be ready to fend off a new form of privatization.
This attack would put in place Milton Friedman’s blueprint to end public education by giving public money directly to parents on a debit card. My previous notes (#307, Dec. 18, 2017) detailed this plan called “Education Savings Accounts”.
When I read the annual survey in my mailbox from my state senator, Senator Ruckelshaus, one of only six questions asked whether I would support or oppose giving $6,000 on a debit card to unsupervised home schools for special education students. Actually, this is my description of the Educational Savings Account proposal. Here is how the survey question read:
“Do you support or oppose giving parents of children with special needs the option to use state educational funding for services such as private-school tuition, tutoring or online courses?”
Questions don’t get on the legislative survey unless the issue has support.
This deceptive language tries to normalize a radical idea to give taxpayer tuition money to home schools for the very first time. It leaves out a lot of details:
The Battle to Come
Wealthy advocates for private school vouchers such as Fred Klipsch have contributed heavily to the campaign funds of Indiana legislators, so legislators will take it seriously when private school advocates ask for a radical plan like Education Savings Accounts. Plans like this have been passed in Florida and five other states with the support of the Jeb Bush Foundation.
This will be a major battle which needs your participation.
What Can You Do?
Why Would “Education Savings Accounts” Undermine Public Education in Indiana?
Public education advocates should be ready to oppose this “foot in the door” attack to allow public school tuition money to be diverted directly to parents. Here is a brief summary of the problems of “ESA’s” which I described in depth in my last “Notes” dated December 18th:
In a year when radical federal policies have been normalized, the “Education Savings Account” plan tries to normalize a radical plan to bypass schools and give taxpayer money directly to parents without accountability checks or audits. This plan should not be normalized but should be seen as the radical concept that it is.
Our Indiana Constitution calls for the General Assembly to provide, “by law, a general and uniform system of Common Schools”. This proposal would hurt our Common Schools.
Our Indiana Constitution calls for educational improvements “by all suitable means”. This proposal is not suitable because it would harm our Common schools and the students that rely on them for services.
Republican leaders in the General Assembly typically have avoided allowing radical proposals to gain traction in an election year because they would make large numbers of public education parents and leaders angry. This proposal would make public education parents angry. You can help the leadership understand this fact so that they decide to back off in this short session.
I urge you to participate in turning back this attack on our public schools of Indiana.
Thank you for actively supporting public education in Indiana!
“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 represented ICPE extremely well during the 2017 budget session and is preparing now for the 2018 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!