81 million dollars of much needed tax support were diverted away from 1.1 million children attending Indiana public schools to private schools in Indiana through vouchers last year. What does that mean? Higher class sizes. Narrowed curriculum offerings. Cuts to the fine arts.
There are two senate voucher expansion bills shaping up in the State Capital that Indiana citizens should keep an eye on. The first item is Senate Bill 322. If this bill is enacted, any private school that accepts vouchers can be exempt from taking the ISTEP. That means more private schools can accept public money and not be held to the same accountability standards as public schools, while at the same time drawing funds away from public schools. This bill was curtailed somewhat during a committee hearing today, but could impact school funding in the future.
Another bill to keep an eye on is SB 282. This bill provides vouchers for special education students in schools that do not provide facilities as directed by the Americans With Disabilities Act. I urge you to contact your state senator to reject this bill in it's entirety. Further cuts to public school funding could have a catastrophic effect on fine arts funding. Legislators know they can dictate the curriculum because they control school and educator evaluations and they control funding.
Vouchers, if allowed to continue to take a bite out of public education, will impact what public schools can offer in the curriculum. Read more about senate bills 322 and 282 here.Politicians elected to legislative bodies can change the educational landscape any time they are in session. It is important to keep an eye on politicians. As a citizen of the United States it is extremely important to participate in the democratic process. I urge you to contact your state senator and tell them to REJECT SB 322 and SB 282 here: