Why did I decide to speak out on the topic of school funding? Clearly there are multiple reasons.
First, and foremost, the 6 little reasons in the picture, our grandchildren. I wonder what kinds of teachers will lead their classrooms in the years ahead. In my mind the most important factor in education is the teacher in charge of the classroom.
Each of our 6 grandchildren, and thousands more around the state of Indiana, will go to a public schools, in areas of the state with stable or declining population. How those school corporations around the state are treated in the funding formula, which is determined by the state legislature and the governor, is crucial. In the past it has not been good, and because of that budgets are cut, programs slashed and we have created inequality between urban, suburban and rural school corporations.
The school corporation I retired from has slashed educational opportunities for students to balance the budget and drawn on rainy day funds not knowing what the state will do next. It’s simply not right. We pay our state taxes and have every right to expect our local public school corporations are adequately funded, which has not happened since property tax caps in 2008. We have more teachers teaching on emergency licenses than ever before, we have few young people going into teaching because of pay, teachers leaving the profession in record numbers and overemphasis on testing. It’s time to ask why and make a stand. I am proud of my chosen profession and it’s contribution to the well being of this country. I have seen too many examples of students in my classrooms who have used the opportunity to have a quality education to enhance their futures. Education is too important to not get involved.
There was a popular book a few years ago, “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, I always knew my purpose in life and I want the same equal educational opportunities for the young children of Indiana. Sadly, that’s not happening at the present. It’s time to stand up for public
schools around this state.