Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #342 – February 10, 2020

Dear Friends,

Here is your chance to stand up for public education! Come to the Statehouse on Presidents’ Day to support public education!

On Monday February 17th, you along with your friends, family and colleagues are invited to a “Rally for Public Education”.

Speakers begin at 2:00 pm in the North Atrium.

Go to the ICPE website for additional information: www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org

Renewed Attacks

Public education, an institution that has undergirded our democracy for 190 years, remains under attack:
  • Last Tuesday in the State of the Union address, President Trump falsely labeled public schools “failing government schools” as he called for $5 billion taxpayer dollars to go to private school scholarships.
  • We have a private school voucher advocate with no professional experience in public schools as US Secretary of Education.
  • Next year Indiana could mimic this unbelievable “lead without K-12 experience” problem. In 2019, the General Assembly passed a law confirming that the Governor of Indiana can appoint a Secretary of Education in 2021 who is not required to have any experience in K-12 education, replacing our elected State Superintendent of Public Education, an elected office serving Indiana since the 1851 Constitution.
  • Proposals in the current legislative short session to give teachers at least a small bonus from surplus funds were ignored by the supermajority. The excellent economy produced $291 million to be spent now, but it was all given to pay cash for college buildings. Underpaid teachers who came to the Statehouse in record numbers last November have been told to wait until next year.
Public education has been under attack for a long time. For an even longer time, public education has been a tremendous cornerstone to progress and democracy.

It’s time to remind the Statehouse of our support for public education!

Public officials in the Statehouse need to put a higher priority on PUBLIC education. Only constituents and voters can get them to do that. That’s where we need your presence in the Statehouse. I hope to see you there!

Partners and Details

Many groups are partnering with the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, the organizer, to support the “Rally for Public Education” on Presidents’ Day. Others may be added. In alphabetical order, they are:

AFT Indiana

Concerned Clergy

Indiana Parent Teacher Association

IPS Community Coalition

Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education

Washington Township Parent Council Network

Speakers at 2:00 pm in the North Atrium are being coordinated by the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, and Joel Hand, ICPE will serve as MC. Speakers include:
Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana State Superintendent of Public Education

Gleneva Dunham, President, AFT Indiana

Julie Klingenberger, President, Indiana PTA

Dr. Phil Downs, Indiana Superintendent of the Year, Southwest Allen County Schools

Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer, President, Indiana Coalition for Public Education

Dountonia Batts, Indiana Coalition for Public Education

Justin Deem-Loureiro, Student

Zoe Bardon, Student

Emony Calloway, Student

Rev. Ramon Batts, Concerned Clergy
I hope to see you at the Statehouse!

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 representing ICPE extremely well in the 2020 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 www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org 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. In April of 2018, I was honored to receive the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Indiana State Teachers Association.


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