The attack on public education by our legislators is damaging and insulting to employees in public schools, students and their communities and I am asking you to help put a halt to it.
The legislation being introduced in this session is an attempt to weaken and potentially destroy public education.
SB 251 attempts to weaken teacher voices by making it more difficult for unions to collect dues. It also puts an additional burden on payroll departments in public schools.
HB 1005, SB 412 and SB 413 take money away from public schools and diverts funds to private schools and includes ineffective virtual schools. These bills also offer more funding to families who earn much more than the state median. This includes diverting referendum funds, intended to support public schools, to private schools.
HB 1397 would cut funding for CTE classes.
Many people are aware that from 2008-2018 Indiana disinvested $8 billion in public education.
The governor knows, but maybe you don’t know that the cuts to the 2020 budget included a cut of more than $107 million to poverty-related funding.
This has all contributed to the problem that over 87% of Indiana public school districts are reporting a teacher shortage this year.
Sadly, teachers have also not been prioritized to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Giving school employees the vaccine would save lives, help our schools become more functional, improve the disruptions of quarantine and the need for teachers to take sick days. Teachers in virtually every school district have suffered from COVID-19.
Public education has been called the "great equalizer" and this legislative attack shows me that lawmakers in Indiana are not interested in equality.
Anita Cox, Highland