For immediate release:
Oct. 17, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath from Michigan City today issued the following statement on events from the past week that impact Hoosier schoolchildren:
“The people of Indiana have just seen a week where their leaders talked like pro wrestlers, while demonstrating the backbone of invertebrates. It would be fun to watch if these circumstances didn’t offer grim omens for the schoolchildren of Indiana.
“Let us start with the latest head-shaker: the governor’s decision not to seek $80 million in our own federal tax dollars for pre-K programming.
“Set aside that we've again neglected to retrieve the tax dollars we've already sent to Washington. We have experienced this too many times in the debate over affordable health care to make any common sense of it.
“Instead, let us contemplate the continued public pronouncements of those who want to take a lot of credit for establishing a modest pre-school program, yet show no inclination for moving beyond the symbolism.
“Republican leaders can shout at the top of their lungs that they brought pre-school to Indiana. Apparently, the whispers backstage mean something different.
“At the same time, my House Republican friends said they were going to fix our public school funding formula…that they installed, doubled-down on, and bragged about.
"How gratifying that they came to their senses in the weeks prior to an election, but their newfound concern for public schools requires too much memory loss. And when they talk about changing the formula, that usually means pummeling schools in our larger communities and smallest rural areas.
“And I cannot let it escape notice that we continue to endure the regular efforts by our State Board of Education and its shadow government agency called the CECI to subvert the work of our publicly-elected Superintendent of Public Instruction. A year after this board howled that Glenda Ritz was slow to issue letter grades for our schools, now they are asking for delays in issuing those same grades...except for one school that has been the focal point of so much controversy.
“None of this should make the people of Indiana feel that we are doing enough to make our public schools whole again after years of neglect by one-party rule in state government. Until actions match words, our children's opportunities remain at risk.”