Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #132– April 9, 2013

Dear Friends,

Only one second reading amendment to House Bill 1003 passed this afternoon. It was a technical amendment offer by the sponsor to correct a typographical error. Seven amendments proposed by Democrats were all voted down on roll call votes. Amendment 13 raising the tax deduction for private school expenses to $5000 was not called down for a vote.

The Vote in the Senate is Tomorrow – Wednesday, April 10th. Session begins at 11AM.

Thanks to all who have participated in the effort to stop the expansion of vouchers. A special thanks to all those who sent messages to keep Amendment 13 out of the bill giving parents generous new tax deductions for home school and private school expenses but not for public school expenses. That amendment was not offered and is not in the bill.

The bill is essentially in the form amended last week in the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. It will deeply hurt public school students, siphoning at least $17 million from the $124 increase in tuition support to pay for vouchers for private school students who are already in private schools. It will drastically change special education procedures in Indiana by sending all special education funding, along with the accountability for all case conference procedures, to private schools. The bill uses the flawed A-F system to make voucher eligibility decisions. These and many other reasons are listed in the attached “One Million and 14 Reasons to Say No to Vouchers.”

Send Messages by 11AM

If there are Senators who have not heard from you, please call or email them first thing in the morning. The session is scheduled to begin at 11:00am, and HB 1003 is listed first on the floor calendar. There are a total of 40 bills on the calendar on the final day for third reading votes in the Senate.

Thanks for all you are doing for public education!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

ICPE is working to promote public education and oppose privatization of schools in the Statehouse. I keep hearing reports that some public school supporters read these “Notes” with great interest but don’t translate that interest into joining ICPE. To keep our outstanding lobbyist Joel Hand in place, who is vigorously working against voucher expansion in the Senate, we need all members from last year to renew and we need new members who support public education. Please join us!

Go to for membership and renewal information.

Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.

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