Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #286 – March 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

Your advocacy to separate pre-kindergarten expansion from K-12 voucher expansion paid dividends today!

The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed Amendment 20 to House Bill 1004, an amendment that restores the bill to read like Senate Bill 276 with only a few changes. Senate Bill 276 was the Senate’s version of expanding pre-kindergarten which did not link pre-K grants to K-12 vouchers in any way.

Then the committee passed the amended bill by a vote of 8-1, with Senator Crane the lone no vote. HB 1004 now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The Senators in the committee today by a vote of 9-0 endorsed the concept that pre-kindergarten expansion should go forward without being entwined with a major expansion of K-12 voucher eligibility.

It is time to thank the Senators on the Education Committee for their vote today to separate pre-K and K-12 vouchers. The members are:

Republican Senators Kruse, Raatz, Bassler, Crane, Freeman, Kenley, Leising and Zay

Democratic Senators Melton, Mrvan and Stoops

The Process is Just Beginning: Stay in Touch with Senators and House Members

While the vote today was encouraging, the debate about linking pre-K and K-12 vouchers is far from over. When Senate Bill 276 gets to the House Education Committee, it is quite possible that the tables will be turned and that the language of House Bill 1004 will be inserted into SB 276.

If both bills pass their respective houses with opposite positions on expanding K-12 vouchers, then both bills will go to conference committees in the last two week of April. Stay alert!

Keep writing Senators to maintain their position that pre-K should not be a road to K-12 voucher expansion.

Then write members of the House asking them to take the Senate’s position to debate pre-kindergarten on its own merits with no link to K-12 voucher eligibility.

Your enthusiasm to support public education in this debate is making a difference. Keep up the good work!

Thank you for actively supporting public education in Indiana!

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 is again representing ICPE in the new budget session which began on January 3, 2017. 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.


No comments: