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Attention: Public ed supporters!

Public education supporters from four states are expected to attend a meeting Saturday in Fort Wayne.

Keynote speaker for the first "Public Schools Across America regional action planning meeting" will be Glenda Ritz, Indiana superintendent of public instruction.

Organizers for the event are Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education in Chicago and co-founder of Parents Across America, along with Maureen Reedy, a parent and veteran educator who was Ohio Teacher of the Year in 2002. The Fort Wayne-based Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education handled local arrangements for the event, set for noon to 5 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 501 W. Berry.

The purpose of the event is to share "concerns about attacks on public education and how we have addressed them locally, and to consider joint activities across our region and potentially across strengthen public education," according to the organizers.

The free event is open not just to educators, but also parents, grandparents and anyone interested in the future of public education.

Looks like a good session for Indiana lawmakers.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at