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DeLaney statement on new state reading investment

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) issued the following statement on today's announcement of a new fund intended to improve reading outcomes in Indiana schools:

“I'm gratified the Lilly Endowment wants to make a substantial contribution to help young children learn to read. Perhaps the biggest contribution they're making is by shining a light on a failure of our state to address this problem.

“The supermajority has controlled our educational system for a full decade, and nearly one in five Hoosier students are not reading as they should at the end of grade three.

“I'm calling on the Department of Education to honestly review the obvious failure of our so-called reform efforts. Rep. Bob Behning, as the long-time chairman of the House Education Committee, should work with the Department of Education to see why his educational 'reforms' have come up short. Secondly, DOE should report to the legislature on how we can follow up with this grant from the Lilly Endowment when it has been spent. We have the resources to do so.   

“I am bewildered that schools can 'opt in' to teacher training if there is 'student need and school interest.' Don't we need to help every kid in every school? How long will serious action depend on grants and local 'interest'?

“A cynic might ask, 'How did we get in the position where our Department of Education and school districts need to be kicked in the pants by donors before they do their job?'”

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