Porter points to Indiana GOP for lower ILEARN scores, broken education system

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Rep. Gregory W. Porter (D-Indianapolis), ranking Democrat on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, today released the following statement after initial reports were released about lower ILEARN test scores: 

“While I agree that the General Assembly should hold schools, teachers and students harmless due to lower ILEARN test scores, let’s not forget who put them in harm’s way in the first place: the Indiana GOP. 

“Under Republican leadership, our education policy has given our schools, teachers and students six versions of a standardized test in 10 years, stagnant teacher pay, underfunded public schools and a virtual school system that is robbing taxpayers blind with little or no accountability measures in place.

“Our schools, teachers and students deserve better than what they’ve been getting for the past 10 years under Republican leadership. The General Assembly should not be signing new versions of a standardized test into law every few years. It sets our schools, teachers and students up to fail — especially since state funding that school corporations receive and teacher salaries are directly tied to student performance on these standardized tests.

“Instead, the General Assembly should be passing legislation that invests more in our traditional public schools, increases teacher pay, makes schools safer, and ensures public funding for education is actually being driven to recruiting and retaining quality teachers and the classroom.”

During the 2019 legislative session, Porter pushed for the two-year state budget to include more funding for traditional public schools and a 5% increase in teacher pay each year. He also supported measures that would increase funding for school safety, including mental health services for students. Unfortunately, none of these proposals were adopted into the two-year budget by Republican leadership.

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