Campbell: ‘State education funding priorities leave public schools in the cold’
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana House Ways and Means Committee member State Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) today issued the following statement on the Republican supermajority's school funding agenda being pushed in House Bill 1005, Senate Bills 412 and 413; and the biennial budget, House Bill 1001:
“This year marks the tenth year of Indiana's voucher program, which has grown to become the largest in the nation,” Campbell said. “Over the past decade of Republican leadership, we have heard again and again that this privatization push is meant to provide better options and uplift struggling communities. The Hoosier State has yet to see either as true. There is no evidence to suggest that switching to a voucher program improves a student's performance or college acceptance rates, and this year's eligibility expansions benefit already well off families that have had choice.
“The vast majority of Hoosier students attend traditional public schools. Voucher schools educate less than 10% of students, but will receive one-third of the school funding boost. Increasingly disproportionate state education funding priorities leave public schools out in the cold.
“Hoosiers are tired of the excuses and campaign slogans like 'we fund students, not systems,' which is as senseless as saying 'we fund drivers, not roads.' Hoosiers need the General Assembly to return to its constitutional obligations and provide a robust school infrastructure for all.
“It is clear that the guiding light of these bills is not the welfare of our children but rather the ideology of privatization. We are hacking off pieces of the educational infrastructure – used by the majority of taxpaying Hoosiers – and passing them off to institutions. Is that a responsible use of tax dollars? I do not think so. I hope that the families whose students are being left behind contact legislators and make their voices heard.
“I will be working with my colleagues in the House to fight for traditional K-12 public schools.”