Sunday, February 28, 2010


SB 309 or HB 1367 in a form that optimizes the usage of excessive cash balances, rainy day funds, offers flexibility in transfering money among various school funds and does not freeze salary increments is currently supported by the Indiana Association of Superintendents, Indiana School Board Association, Indiana Federation of Teachers and the ISTA.

However, there is much to be negotiated here within the next week in order for emergency school funding to be passed. Anything can happen during this time.

I need your help.

Legislators need to here from you.

I will be at the State House on March 2nd. If you can join me, I encourage you to stop by.

One cannot say we are preparing our children for the challenges of the 21st Century by increasing class sizes and narrowing or eliminating essential learning opportunities like art and music. The State of INDIANA needs to keep the promise of quality, well rounded educational opportunities for all of the 1.1 million children who attend public schools.

Call, write or contact your legislator and let them know you want them to support emergency education funding.

We cannot afford future failures of imagination.

Thank you for all that you do for the children in Indiana.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Senate Bill 309: Bi-Partisan Effort Needed To Secure Emergency Funding

Their seems to be some agreement between Republicans and Democrats in the Indiana General Assembly that emergency education funding is necessary in order to keep thousands of Indiana teachers and education staff out of unemployment lines and in the classrooms working with Indiana school children next year.

Representative Greg Porter has been instrumental in moving this legislation forward.

Read about it here:

However, we still need you to encourage your legislators to support emergency school funding measures.

Here is what may happen if this legislation is not passed:

Please continue to write or contact your legislators and urge them to support SB309.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Movement in the Legislative Process

Earlier last week, the Indiana Senate took HB1367 and stripped the House features out and inserted language that would degrade public education by requiring teachers to bear the brunt of any emergency funding costs with mandatory pay and benefit cuts and elimination of annual pay increments.

Yesterday, the Indiana House of Representatives re-inserted language into SB309 that was supported by the Indiana Superintendents Association, Indiana School Boards Association, Indiana Federation of Teachers and Indiana State Teachers Association.

There have been other changes to S.B. 309.

You can read about this legislative process here:

It is very important that we continue to contact our legislators and tell them about budget cuts that have happened or are going to happen if they do not provide emergency education funding relief. They need to know about current class sizes, class sizes that will result from r.i.f.s, program cuts, service cuts and all other essential elements that provide quality, well rounded educational experiences for our children.

If our children were blank slates, we could just transfer knowledge directly into their brains through direct instruction. However, scientific evidence does not support this view.

It takes many resources and an army of dedicated educational professionals to provide optimal, quality educational experiences for over 1.1 million children currently in Indiana Public School classrooms.

The cognitively diverse, heterogeneous populations of children in our classrooms deserve the best possible learning opportunities we can provide.

Children develop a lifelong love of learning and literacy when their are adequate numbers of educational professionals in position to respect and strengthen their individual abilities and facilitate their drive to learn.

Current trends in education funding indicate higher classroom sizes that will degrade the physical, emotional, and cognitive growth of students and the elimination of programs that are vital the development of innovative thinking skills critical to economic success in the 21st Century.

It is clear Indiana Public Educators have been asked to do more and more with less and less.

We cannot afford future failures of imagination.

Contact your legislators here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

HB1367 Stripped of Emergency Funding Flexibility Provisions

See: ISTA Legislative Hotline:

Despite the rhetoric by state politicians of providing local control of schools to the local communities where those schools exist, Indiana communities will have lost that ability once this legislation passes. Local school boards will not have the power to fund their school programs and teachers as they see fit.

Control of education funding limits school districts ability to support a curriculum that provides for a well rounded education.

Indiana children's opportunities for meaningful, personalized learning experiences will soon be marginalized, narrowed and re centralized by an autocratic governing board controlled by powerful forces in Indiana State Government.

According to recent trends in funding priorities, Indiana State Government is not doing enough to facilitate 21st Century learning skills.

Contact your legislator today and tell them you are concerned with the direction of school funding and future of our public schools. There are cuts taking place all around the state and our legislators do not understand where they are taking place.

If you know where local school program cuts or staff cuts are taking place, let your
legislators know what is going on. Contact them here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Monday, Feb. 15 Committee Hearings

Greetings Everybody. Here is the info on upcoming legislation on emergency education school funding bills HB1367 and SB309.

The HB1367 will be in Senate Rules committee for dicussion. Contact these Senators and let them know of your concerns on school funding.

Chair: Senator Long
Members: Wyss R.M., Bray, Charbonneau, Gard, Lawson, Merritt, Steele, Simpson R.M.M., Hume, Lanane, Sipes.

This is a critical time in the school funding legislative process. Your silence means you consent to these cuts.

The time to speak out is now!

SB 309 will be discussed and examined by the House Education Committe Monday also.

Hear are the members of that committee:

Chair: Representative Porter
Vice Chair: Representative Oxley
Members: Cheatham, Kersey, Riecken, V. Smith, VanDenburgh. Behning R.M.M., Clere, Noe, M. Smith, Thompson.

Any language in the Senate education bill that cuts teachers pay without their consent, is bad for education and the hardworking professionals who work with over 1.1 million Indiana school children. Many teachers have not had pay raises in several years.

Let your Representatives know how you feel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Senate Bill 309

Indiana Senate Bill 309's main feature of freezing pay and insurance benefits of educators even in districts that have surpluses, is not in the best interests of hard working teachers many of whom have not had a pay increase in the past 6 years.

SB309 originally submitted by Senator Alting would have been ok, except it was changed in committee by Republicans to weaken public education by freezing teachers wages and insurance benefits even in districts that have budget surpluses. Totally unfair!

I am assuming something will be worked out between the two legislative bodies, but the Senate's bill is an attempt to weaken public education, by destroying teachers rights to collective bargaining, something Indiana public school teachers have done since 1973.

We need to contact all of our State Senators and let them know we expect education jobs to be saved during this economic crisis.

Teachers and children should not be penalized for a recession they did not create.

Contact your legislators here and urge them to pass H.B.1367. Write your message.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

H.B. 1367 Passes in the Indiana House of Representatives

Today, HB1367 passed in the Indiana House of Representatives by a party line vote. Fifty one Democrats voted to pass emergency funding measures designed to prevent catastrophic public education program and staffing cuts that would have lead to higher class sizes, a narrowed curriculum and cuts in dynamic learning opportunities for children in music and art. 48 Republicans voted against it.

The bill will move to the Indiana Senate where it will undoubtedly be compromised. The Indiana Senate has a competing funding bill of which one of the main features is to freeze educator's pay. I can tell you this, there are educators in Indiana who have not had pay raises for the past 6 years and they have worked very hard during that time.

We need to let Indiana Senate Repbulicans know the children, teachers and administrators who work within our public schools who had nothing to do with the economic crisis, deserve better than the higher class sizes and narrowed curriculum that will result from the Governor's education budget cuts.

Let's be clear: Public schools educate over 90% of Indiana's children.

Public Education deserves more support than is currently recieved from the Governor and his political allies in the General Assembly and Indiana Department of Education.

We need citizens to speak up and take action. Share this email with your colleagues, family and constituents and ask them to write or call their legislators, better yet pay them a visit if they come to your local community or visit them at the state house. We need Indiana state senators to hear from the voting public asap.

Public education, which the state of Indiana is constitutionally obligated to support, needs to be adequately maintained so educators can deliver meaningful, quality educational experiences to our children.

Contact your state senator here.

Tell them to support H.B. 1367.

We cannot afford future failures of imagination.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Eliminating Children's Prospects for a Well Rounded Education Like Eating Your Seed Corn

Great Letter to the Editor of the Lafayette Journal and Courier from Van E. Neie.

Check out the link below:

"Eating Your Seed Corn"