Thursday, April 18, 2013

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #134– April 18, 2013

Dear Friends,

At this point in our fight against voucher expansion during Conference Committees, I must directly ask for your financial support for ICPE. We do not have the money to pay the fourth and final payment to our outstanding lobbyist, Joel Hand. We must raise $3700 by the end of April. Will you help?

The Indiana Coalition for Public Education board contracted with Joel Hand to serve as our lobbyist back in December with every confidence that we could find enough generous advocates for public education to pay the bills. That plan has worked in part. We were able to raise $12,000 through the end of March to pay Joel for the first three months of the General Assembly at the rate of $4000 per month, a modest amount in the Statehouse arena. Now to make the final payment, we need your help.

We do not get Gates money like some “education reform” groups. We do not get grants from the Walmart Foundation or from the DeVos family. We are funded one membership at a time.

We have 507 paying members this year. We know there are many others who strongly support public education who have thought about joining but have not written the check. This is the time we need your support. We need new members.

In addition, our current members have expressed great appreciation for Joel’s work. We need extra contributions of $10, $20, or $50 to show that appreciation in financial terms. We need donations.

Joel has represented the Indiana Coalition extremely well this week. He spoke strongly against voucher expansion at yesterday’s Conference Committee on the budget bill. He will represent ICPE today at the Conference Committee meeting on House Bill 1003. I will send details of those meetings in the next “Statehouse Notes”.

If you appreciate having a strong advocate like Joel Hand speaking up for public education in the Statehouse and if you appreciate receiving “Statehouse Notes” to keep you up to date, I ask you to take the “Do It Now!” challenge to do one of the following:
  1. Join ICPE if you have not done so, using the form attached or using the online credit card payment option on our website:  Our mailing address for membership checks is: ICPE, PO Box 7093, Fishers, IN 46037
  2. Send a free will donation showing your appreciation for ICPE’s work during this session. Checks should be sent to the address above. Online donations can be made on our website above.
To continue to support public education, we need your help. Will you help?

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 working hard against voucher expansion during conference committees, 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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