Monday, January 22, 2024

In Case You Missed It – January 22, 2024

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. 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 of our blog page to be informed when our blog posts are published.


"Public schools (and free college) made it possible for America to produce an explosion of invention and innovation throughout the mid-20th century; now other countries are surpassing us, as the dumbing-down of our kids has become institutionalized in Red state after Red state.

And public schools gave many students their first experience of interacting with people who look different from them and grew up under different circumstances, awakening many young people to the discrimination and unfairness inherent in how America has historically treated minorities.

All of which explains why Republicans so badly want to put an end to public education in America."
-- Thom Hartman, quoted by Diane Ravitch in Why Rightwingers Oppose Public Schools


Thom Hartmann: Why Rightwingers Oppose Public Schools

From Diane Ravitch 1954, the US Supreme Court upset the education apple cart by declaring in their Brown v Board case that “separate but equal” schools, segregated by race, were anything but “equal.” That decision fueled two movements that live on to this day.

The first was the rightwing anti-communist movement spearheaded by the John Birch Society, which was heavily funded back then by Fred Koch, the father of Charles and David Koch. They put up billboards across the country demanding that Americans rise up and “Impeach Earl Warren,” who was then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, for requiring “communist” racial integration of our schools.

The second was the private, all-white “academy” movement that has morphed over the years into charter schools and the “school choice” movement of today. It received a major boost when the white supremacist co-founder of neoliberalism, Milton Friedman, published a widely-read and influential article in 1955 explicitly calling for what he called “education vouchers” to fund all-white private schools to “solve the national crisis” the Court had created.


Jan Resseger: The Culture Wars Are Obscuring What Really Matters

From Diane Ravitch
Jan Resseger, dedicated champion of social justice, explains that the culture wars are a ruse that diverts [us] from far more important issues. Book-banning and attacks on diversity-equity-inclusion are outrageous, but even more so is our indifference to structural issues, such as adequate funding, persistent racial segregation, and the privatization movement.


It’s Not a Good Start for the Short Session

Vic Smith provides in-depth coverage of the Indiana General Assembly's continuing quest to privatize public education in Indiana. Follow him and support the Indiana Coalition for Public Education

From the Indiana Coalition for Public Education
Two Senate bills, SB 255 and SB 143, directly implement Milton Friedman’s plan to give school funding to parents and not to schools, abruptly ending the way public education in Indiana has been funded for over a century.

Both bills must be strongly opposed, and promptly. Senate Bill 255 has been scheduled for a hearing on Thursday, January 18 at 9 a.m. in bill author Senator Mishler’s committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, which meets in Room 431.

One immediate effect of both bills would have taxpayers for the first time pay $7,000 for ANY student in an unaccredited home school.

Indiana lawmakers seem unlikely to tackle school consolidation in 2024 session

From the Indiana Capital Chronicle
A new statewide report is fueling discussions about consolidating Indiana’s smallest school districts, but state lawmakers continue to lack an appetite for action — at least for now.

For years, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce has asked the General Assembly to move legislation that encourages school districts with fewer than 2,000 students to consolidate.

Small and rural school officials — longtime critics of the chamber’s lobby for more school consolidation — are pushing back against the new study and the potential for Indiana policies that would require small schools to increase their student population.

“We don’t have a problem with consolidation, but it needs to be driven by locals — it has to be something they want for it to be successful,” said Chris Lagoni, executive director of the Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association. “Our members do feel like there’s a lot of attacking going on here.”

“The state has said we want more private schools, we want more public schools, we want more choice, more choice, more choice,” he continued. “The chamber advocated for those policies. That’s why we’re just having a hard time understanding this issue — because we’re not attacking it equally across all choices.”

Some public schools could face tax losses under proposed legislation

This is another attempt to divert public money from public schools to privately run schools.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Last week, the Indiana House Ways & Means Committee heard testimony on a proposal extending a cap on referendum levies that could inhibit the ability of public school corporations to convince voters to pay extra property taxes for needed improvements.

Authored by Ways & Means’ Republican Chair Jeff Thompson of Lizton, House Bill 1120 would still allow public school districts to seek additional funding through referendums, but not more than 3% above the maximum tax a district would have levied in the previous year.

When it comes to paying for K-12 education, state lawmakers have a history of moving taxpayer money from public school districts to charter schools.


Iowa: Principal Dan Marburger Dies Defending His Students

From Diane Ravitch
Dan Marburger, who served for almost three decades as principal of the Perry High School, died of the wounds he sustained after being shot by a high school student on January 4.

The high school student killed an 11-year-old sixth grader and wounded several others, then killed himself.

Mr. Marburger gave his life to save the lives of students.

In this country, “gun rights” have more protection than the lives of students, teachers, and principals. Don’t believe those politicians who say they protect “life” but oppose gun control. This is a contradiction or outright hypocrisy. Anyone who values life must demand gun control.


Schools 101: Southwest Allen, Warsaw programs creates district advocates

Teaching the public about public schools.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Southwest Allen County Schools parents ask Erin Nash questions about topics such as elearning and snow days as if she’s a district expert.

“And I’m not,” said Nash, president of Aboite Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Club.

But she’s more informed about SACS now than she was when the academic year began. She is among 25 people getting an in-depth look at district operations through Southwest Education Advocates, a monthly program that launched in October.

Sessions address topics including school finance, transportation, technology, maintenance, safety, food service, curriculum, special education, testing, English language learners and guidance programming. Daytime tours of three schools – including lunch at one – are planned for March.

“We’re trying to help them understand the big picture of what happens not just during a school day, but what it takes to support a school,” Superintendent Park Ginder said after this month’s session. “We want them to have a well-rounded experience about what it takes to support the learning in the classroom.”
**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette is behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both are available with a subscription. Staying informed is essential; one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information, go to [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]

Note: NEIFPE's In Case You Missed It is posted by the end of the day every Monday except after holiday weekends or as otherwise noted.


No comments: