Rep. Vernon G. Smith appointed to Distressed Unit Appeal Board for Gary

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INDIANAPOLIS — House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) has again appointed State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) to the Distressed Unit Appeal Board (DUAB), which exists to discuss plans to help school corporations in need of assistance.

Smith said the nonvoting, advisory position will continue to enable him to represent the voices of citizens in Gary, whose school district has undergone significant changes because of recent legislative action.

Currently, Senate Bill 416 is being considered in the House which would require the DUAB to hold a public hearing on the status of Gary schools and establish a School Improvement Fund.

“This is not the first time I’ve had a seat at the table during these discussions,” said Smith. “I especially look forward to offering input on the board this year. Members of the Gary community can’t speak at these events, so it’s vital that there is someone to express their concerns. Even though it is a nonvoting position, I will be able to represent and express the views of the Gary community.

“Considering the urgency of what is going on regarding Gary Community School Corporation, representing the people of that community is more important than ever.

“As a DUAB member, I will continue asking the tough questions and making sure those who are making decisions are held accountable,” promised Smith. “If nothing else, this will enable me to be more informed on the issues facing the school corporation and allow me to be a better resource for my district.”

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