Back in September, I drove up and down the state delivering more than 100 yard signs to cities from Portage and Anderson to Charlestown and Newburgh. People (my husband) thought I was insane. I drove all by myself in peace and quiet (we have two young kids), away from the internet and in between projects for the two jobs I have (I’m living the American dream). I binged on podcasts and listened to stand-up comedy, uncensored, because I could. I stopped at local food joints as well—from Big Ben’s BBQ in Jeffersonville to Henze’s bakery in Valparaiso. I also sat at many railroad crossings. I think Griffith and Porter tie for two of the largest crossings I recall encountering in Indiana. All in all, this trip doesn’t sound too insane to a 40-something mom.
Some of you had amazing fall décor—big word planks (with messages like “Welcome Fall”), sitting next to your front doors, are popular all over Indiana. Others were still holding onto summer and had your green thumb on full display in your front yards and decks.
But, let me get to the point: what I learned from this road trip.
In the end, what I learned is simple, obvious, and contrary to the messages coming out of the statehouse: We who support public education come from all walks of life. Public education is the great equalizer. Public schools are the hearts of our communities and need qualified staff and teachers to ensure proper operation. Underfunding public education makes no sense. The current funding course the state is on for the sake of “choice” could more aptly be termed "austerity” and is not sustainable. If it were, we would not have referendums to help pay for teachers. It is imperative to pay attention. Let's focus on getting the right people into office to ensure that ALL Hoosier children will have access to an equitable education offered by accountable schools filled with well-trained, well-paid teachers and support staff.
Tomorrow and every election day, be sure to vote for public education.
—Keri Miksza, vice chair of Indiana Coalition for Public Education–Monroe County