Several hundred school children from private and charter schools in Indiana filled the statehouse today for a rally sponsored by voucher program and charter school advocates.
As organizers passed out yellow and green “Ed reform rocks” t-shirts for the kids to don, Governor Mitch Daniels came out of his office to mingle with the crowd. The event, sponsored by School Choice Indiana and the Friedman Foundation, was hosted by Democrats for Education Reform Board Member Kevin Chavous. Chavous says Charter schools and Indiana’s voucher program give parents more options on how to educate their children.
“Quality options for parents allow for the parents and children to have the best experience that is tailored for them,” he says.
Indiana House Minority Leader Pat Bauer has consistently opposed the programs. He says they do not provide equal opportunities for all Indiana children and actually hurt public schools.
“A child goes into a charter school, they can kick him out after maybe a month,” he says. “The money stays with the charter school, and the public school has to take him back, without the money.”
There are currently sixty five charter schools in the state and this is the first year Indiana’s controversial voucher program has been implemented.