State Rep. Smith to serve as ranking Democrat on 2021 House Education Committee
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) today announced that during the 2021 Legislative Session, he will be the ranking Democrat on the House Education Committee and will serve on two other committees: Judiciary; and Local Government.
Smith has served as the ranking Democrat on the Education Committee for the past nine years, and will be returning to the Judiciary Committee for the first time since 2016.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put our teachers and students under unbearable strain,” Smith said. “One of the most pressing issues facing schools right now is the lack of staff and resources to adequately support students. We must increase our state's teacher pay, not only to reward our educators for an unwavering dedication to their students this past year, but also to encourage them to stay in our state's public school system. We cannot afford to lose any more valuable teachers to our neighboring states or our private and charter school programs.
“I look forward to returning to the Judiciary and Local Government Committees this budget year. The challenges we face today interconnect on many levels. When we look at our schools, we must also look at local government funding and expenses and determine what issues we need to address to make improvements.
“Our courts are in a particularly difficult situation, having to play catch-up after months of delays. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I hope to support their efforts to get back on track and tackle other issues that our courts and those who practice their trade in the courts bring to our attention.”