Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2:15 pm
Budget plan victimizes public schools, students
Voucher and charter schools have received more money from the state each school year since 2011. No wonder there was a School Choice Week celebration Jan. 27. The bad news is that as the private schools celebrate, the public schools must scramble to find money to transport their students to school. Gov. Mike Pence claims to be the "education governor," but the increases he has proposed affect the private and charter schools very positively while – once again – the public schools are barely getting any increases.
The percentage increases – if Pence’s budget is approved – for "choice" schools (that includes charter schools and private schools accepting voucher money) is 13.1 percent, while the traditional public schools would see an increase of only 2.4 percent, which is really only 1.2 percent per year. Giving families a "choice" sounds great, but the traditional public schools and their students are the victims in this scenario.
Pence guilty of over reach he claims to abhor
With attacks to public education, I feel the need to take a stand. I seem to remember Gov. Mike Pence strongly opposing government overreach while a congressman. What he and his cronies have done with Superintendent Glenda Ritz sure resembles overreach to me.
The voucher program this bunch seems to think is so rewarding for our children is killing the public school system that is by law to be free to all children. Perfect examples of these detrimental effects are the recent actions of Fort Wayne’s school systems. They have had to make major cuts to transportation as well as closing buildings and cutting staff as more money flows to private church-based schools or charter schools. Bless the Allen County superintendents for taking a stand for all kids and teachers.
Voting does matter! If this bunch continues to be elected, our public schools will be nothing more than day care for the most challenging students. Thank God these kids will have a place to go. If this bunch is voted back in, do not gripe when your kids have to walk to school or you have to provide transportation. Do not complain when your child’s classroom has 40 kids and one teacher, with no recourse when there happens to be a difficult child in the class and no one to help that child. And then have that teacher lose pay because some ridiculous test isn’t passed by these kids. These are real issues, not talking points.
Our public school system and our voting choices are in danger by this administration. Just imagine the ear-splitting roars we would be hearing if the party tables were turned on this issue. Pence and his followers have continually ridiculed, disrespected and undermined Ritz from the day she took office. Actions like this keep people from setting up roots here, among other reasons. Pence owes the people of this state an apology; at the very least, Superintendent Ritz. Hopefully, come 2016, the voters of this state will not forget. I will do my best to see that we don’t.
Schools must refocus on everyday tasks
Indiana media are addressing many newsworthy items about our schools. Our elected officials are spending many hours on these topics.
I have read a couple of articles lately that make me question the education that our young people are receiving in school. One item was about a place offering help in completing financial aid forms for higher education, the other offering help in filing simple tax returns.
I think that anyone graduating from high school should be able to accomplish these tasks. These are basic needs for so many young people. Let’s talk about meeting minimum requirements to succeed in everyday living. Let’s prepare our graduates for reality.
It’s time for the governor to stop trying to take his ball and go home if duly elected Superintendent Glenda Ritz is going to get to play in the game. Apparently some people can’t work and play well with others.
JAMES S. HENDON