Photo: Jasont82 (Wikimedia)
“Education reform rocks” was the message of the day at the Statehouse Monday as students, teachers, parents and lawmakers renewed the call for strengthening school choice.
Students representing schools from around the state took part in the rally, celebrating Indiana’s recent education initiatives including expanded charter schools and the statewide voucher program. But Governor Mike Pence says there’s still a lot of work to do, citing 12 percent of Hoosier students who failed to graduate last year and more than 200 thousand who attend schools receiving a D or F school grade:
“On behalf of all the children of Indiana, we are going to continue to demand more and to improve our schools until great schools are the norm for every community of our state,” said Governor Mike Pence.
For their part, Democrats say the GOP is pushing the wrong kinds of ideas. Austin Representative Terry Goodin says, after the election of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Republicans pledged to slow down on the sweeping education changes of the last few years, and he says that’s not what’s happening this session.
“If the majority party here continues to rub people’s noses in this, you know what happens: they really get rebellious,” said Goodin. “And we don’t want to see that; we want things to be smooth and we definitely don’t want to use our kids as a science project.”
The House GOP passed legislation earlier this session expanding the state’s voucher program. That bill currently sits in the Senate education committee.