Monday, November 2, 2020

In Case You Missed It – November 2, 2020

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention in NEIFPE's social media. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

Be sure to enter your email address in the Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.


Betsy DeVos Still Doesn’t Get the Connection Between Democracy and Our System of Public Schools

A must read before you vote tomorrow (if you haven't voted already). DeVos hates public education. That's a good reason to deny her and her administration another four years. When you vote, vote to support public education.

From Jan Resseger's Blog
A week ago, at one of the nation’s most conservative Christian colleges, Betsy DeVos delivered a vehement attack on the idea of public education. With the election coming up next week, we can hope it was the final attack on the institution of public schooling DeVos will deliver from her perch as U.S. Secretary of Education.


Political groups give over $200,000 to charter-friendly candidates for IPS board

The PAC money for these candidates comes from folks who are not interested in the community or the students; they are interested in the money to be made in a pro-charter city with the pro-charter candidates they support. Do we need to divert even more money from Indianapolis Public Schools to private pockets? Support public schools and pro-public school candidates.

From Chalkbeat*
Deep-pocketed political action committees have thrown over $200,000 into four races for Indianapolis Public Schools board seats, helping candidates who support partnerships with charter schools to far out-raise their competitors.

With significant donations from PACs for Stand for Children Indiana, RISE Indy, and the Indy Chamber, District 4 incumbent Diane Arnold, District 1 hopeful Will Pritchard, and at-large challenger Kenneth Allen have each raised between $57,000 and $123,000, according to pre-election campaign finance reports due Friday. The filings include contributions through Oct. 9.

Those school choice-friendly groups also endorsed Venita Moore in the District 2 race. Moore raised $55,000, according to reports she filed Sunday. She told Chalkbeat that she missed the deadline due to technical problems.


Indiana education chief bucks party politics to try to oust officials who stood in her way

In the last four years Jennifer McCormick has shown that she supports public schools and the 90% of Indiana's children who attend them.

From Chalkbeat*
Four years ago, Jennifer McCormick was a triumph for the Republican Party — a public school superintendent who snatched back Indiana’s top education office from a pesky Democrat.

Now, the Indiana GOP considers McCormick a traitor.

She’s siding with the Democrat trying to unseat the Republican governor. She’s endorsing Democrats in hotly contested races for state lawmaker seats, attorney general, and Congress. She’s betraying the party that got her elected.

McCormick does not care.

“They want me out. That doesn’t hurt my feelings right now,” she told Chalkbeat. “What is alarming is the direction, from the federal level on down, that Republicans are going regarding education. I just simply do not agree with it… I believe in public education. That’s just who I am, and I make no apologies for that.”

McCormick would protect funding, oppose discrimination

From School Matters
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick is calling on the state legislature to protect public schools from funding cuts and to protect students and school staff from discrimination.

Her proposals come in a 24-page document targeted to the Indiana General Assembly, which will begin its 2021 session in January. McCormick, Indiana’s last elected state superintendent, will leave office at the end of this year – unless Dr. Woody Myers pulls an upset in the governor’s race and reappoints her.

“I leave this document to outline the critical policy actions that must be taken, regardless of who fills the seat of Indiana’s top education leader,” McCormick writes. “Our students deserve it, educators demand it, and our communities need it to ensure Indiana’s future success.”


Voters left uneducated on coming school change

The next governor will appoint the state school superintendent as well as eight of the ten members of the state school board. The current governor has shown that he is not a friend of public education. The fact that he refuses to name who he will pick for state superintendent suggests that his choice will not be someone who supports public education.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
State officials love to point out more than half of the state's budget is dedicated to education. It's the go-to response when confronted with data on lagging teacher salaries or growing inequity among Indiana school districts.

But while many like to talk about how much schools cost, they are much less forthcoming when it comes to disclosing views on how those dollars are spent or who benefits. For Gov. Eric Holcomb, a key player in removing the state's top education post from voter ballots, that extends to revealing whom he would appoint to the new cabinet-level position replacing it.

Having lost the right to elect a state superintendent of public instruction, voters deserve to know whom the governor will choose.

If Democratic challenger Dr. Woody Myers is elected, voters know exactly what to expect. Myers announced during Tuesday's gubernatorial debate he will appoint Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick to the new education post. On Thursday, Libertarian candidate Donald Rainwater said he would appoint Dawn Wooten, a Fort Wayne resident and adjunct English instructor who lost the nomination for state schools chief at the GOP state convention in 2016.

Holcomb has said only that he will appoint someone "that doesn't need on-the-job training," someone who's "creative, innovative and is thinking about education in a holistic sense ... meaning all the above: K-12, charters, choice, home schooling, higher education, career training, etc."

*Note: Financial sponsors of Chalkbeat include pro-privatization foundations and individuals such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, EdChoice, Gates Family Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and others.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has changed its online access and is now behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both, are available with a subscription. Staying informed is important, and one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information go to


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