Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Mailbag: Court Cases & Transportation Tumult

A Marion Superior Court judge’s most recent ruling on the Indiana private school voucher lawsuit — the program can go forward while the court hears the case because arguments against the program aren’t likely to succeed at trial — prompted ‘abusedcitizen’ to leave this comment:

Citizens are not taxed to provide public funds to support the teacher’s union or it’s members. Nor are they taxed to support the the education buracracy. Citizens are taxed to provide an education for children. It is the duty of the parents to determine where the best available use of their children’s educational tax dollars can be found. This is known as parental responsibility and good stewardship.

Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana

The scene near a Franklin Township Community School Corporation building on the first day of classes.

We’re getting ready to release a feature on the financial situation in the Franklin Township Community School Corporation, which started school with a new policy last week:  parents have to pay for their student’s busing. ‘upset in FTSD’ commented:

Are you kidding me. My son is in the fifth grade. He is at a new school, i have to take him to my sister’s to catch the bus because our road is closed. He is then picked up 1 hour later. school begins at 09:00 am and he has managed to get there by 9:30 am. The real joke is the afternoon. school lets out at 3:50 pm and he has to sit in the cafeteria until the bus gets there 04:30 pm and I again pick him up at my sister’s after work. Last night (Day 2) he arrived at 06:00 pm. We live 7 minutes from the school. This is not working.

Franklin Township district resident Shelley Frost Koerner left us a comment about something she says we missed in our reporting:

What is not mentioned by [superintendent Walter] Bourke or Stokes is that Franklin Township Schools has a $11 Million dollar surplus. Why couldn’t this be used to bus the childen since they are required to attend school per state law (not every parent can’t home school)? If parents opt to pay for their children to ride the bus are to pay $475 for the first child and $400 for each additional child. Parents and children are waiting in traffic for 2 1/2 hours every morning and then again in the afternoon to pick up their children, a total of 5 hours waiting. The parents that even opt to pay for busing, their children are still showing up to school late because they are stuck in all the traffic. I don’t have any children in school any longer but I am still affected by the traffic. I have to get up hours earlier so that I can make it to work on time at 8:00.

The point about the rainy day fund is a good one, Shelley. Look for our answer to the question in the story we’re planning to release tomorrow here on StateImpact Indiana.

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