Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #244 – February 3, 2016

Dear Friends,

Senate Bill 334 is Senator Yoder’s bill to throw open the doors to allow voucher applications from September 2nd to January 15th for spring semester. He said the bill was to help drop outs in a voucher school called The Crossing, but the bill language says nothing about helping drop outs and makes a broad change that will allow voucher transfers across Indiana for the spring semester.

Monday on the Senate floor, Senator Breaux proposed an amendment to Senate Bill 334 to narrow its focus to help high school students “in need of alternative emergency educational opportunities.” This was the stated purpose given by Senator Yoder when he presented the bill.

The amendment to narrow the bill to the stated purpose failed. The Senate rejected Senator Breaux’s amendment on a voice vote.

Senate Bill 334 now stands as the biggest expansion of private school vouchers since the 2013 expansion.

The Final Third Reading Vote on Senate Bill 334 is Scheduled for Today, February 3rd

If you think vouchers should not be expanded in this broad manner to allow any student to transfer with a voucher in the spring semester, it is time to take immediate action.

Urge your Senator to vote no on SB 334 until it is rewritten to help drop outs in line with the testimony given on the bill.
This bill would expand the season for competition and recruitment from 6 months to 10 months.

If you think that the season for marketing, recruitment and competition for school choice should not be expanded to September 2nd through January 15th, take quick action. SB 334 is on the list for a vote in the session that began at 10:30 this morning.

Thanks for speaking up on this issue! Thanks for your support of public education!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

“Vic’s Statehouse Notes” and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!

ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. We need your membership to help support ICPE lobbying efforts. As of July 1st, the start of our new membership year, it is time for all ICPE members to renew their membership.

Our lobbyist Joel Hand continues to represent ICPE during the 2016 short session. We need your memberships and your support to continue his work. We welcome additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!

Go to for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!

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. In 2013 I was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education, and in 2014 I was honored to be named to the Teacher Education Hall of Fame by the Association for Teacher Education – Indiana.


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