Monday, May 2, 2016

Vic’s Election Notes on Education #32– May 1, 2016

Dear Friends,

Note: There is no link between “Vic’s Election Notes on Education” and any organization.

In Indiana’s bicentennial year, will Hoosier voters elect candidates who will vote to dismantle public education in Indiana?

In House District 17, an open seat after the retirement of Representative Tim Harman, two candidates are running in the Republican primary election in a district that is normally a safe Republican seat.

The two candidates are Jesse Bohannon and Jack Jordan.

Of the two candidates, Jack Jordan deserves the support of public school advocates in the House District 17 race in the May 3rd primary election.
[Please note: Indiana Code 3-14-1-17 says that government employees including public school employees may not “use the property of the employee’s government employer to” support the “election or defeat of a candidate” and may not distribute this message “on the government employer’s real property during regular working hours.” Ironically, the law does not prevent private school employees from using computers purchased with public voucher money to distribute campaign materials. Private schools now financed in part by public voucher dollars have retained all rights under Indiana’s voucher laws to engage in partisan political campaigns.]

House District 17

House District 17 includes all of Marshall County and a large portion of Fulton County, including Bremen, Bourbon, La Paz, Plymouth, Argos and Rochester.

Key Points for Supporting Public Education

My recommendation to support Jack Jordan in District 17 is based on these key points:
  • Jesse Bohannon has long been an advocate for more private school vouchers. He ran for a House seat in 2014 in a different district (House District 48), losing narrowly in the primary to Douglas Miller. At the time he was a teacher at a private alternative school called the Crossing, and he ran for the seat in 2014 saying he would make voucher expansion a priority. “Bohannon identified school vouchers as the big issue for him. He favors expanding the program for the K-12 school system, allowing more state funding earmarked for education to follow students, whether they attend public or private schools or are home-schooled.” (posted April 22, 2014 by Tim Vandenack of the Elkhart Truth)
  • Paying taxpayer-funded tuition for home-schooling would be a huge new expensive expansion. The concept was introduced in 2016 in the General Assembly in bills establishing “Education Savings Accounts”, a proposal that I call “Reduced Learning No Accountability Accounts” that I have described in previous notes. The bills filed to implement this concept have not advanced, but if more voucher advocates like Jesse Bohannon favoring voucher expansion are elected, these damaging bills may advance. Any move to enact this voucher expansion would further decimate funding for public schools.
  • Jack Jordan has been a leader in public education in his local community. He was elected and served for eight years on the Bremen School Board. During that span he served as Bremen School Board President. His background gives him strong experience to understand the needs and issues of public schools.

Based on these differences, it is clear that Jack Jordan deserves the support of all public school advocates over Jesse Bohannon, especially those in House District 17.

The stakes are high in our bicentennial year. Will public education survive the political attacks?

Contact your friends in House District 17 about supporting Jack Jordan.

Thanks for standing up in support of public education!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

There is no link between “Vic’s Election Notes on Education” and any organization. Please contact me at to add an email address or to remove an address from the distribution list.

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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