Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett spoke before the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday as it continues to examine the House budget bill. Bennett testified on a number of ideas, including the new school funding formula, expansion of charter schools and school vouchers. He said they all come back to a basic premise Indiana should operate under.
“I think it’s the charge of the state to fund children wherever they may go,” said Bennett.
Bennett said he believes it’s fundamentally wrong for the state to deny parents and children their best chance at success just because that chance is in a charter school or private school.
“I do not believe that, regardless of how much money we put in to traditional public education, we’re going to meet the needs of all children,” he said.
But Indiana State Teachers Association representative Gail Zeheralis said if the state supports charter schools, it can only hurt traditional public schools.
“But I do know that for every one we create is an opposite and equal reaction on the part of a traditional public school,” said Zeheralis.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the charter school bill Thursday.