Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Ritz Calls For Pause On School Voucher Expansion

State superintendent Glenda Ritz updated her legislative agenda Tuesday for the 2016 General Assembly.

State superintendent Glenda Ritz updated her legislative agenda Tuesday for the 2016 General Assembly. (photo credit: Brandon Smith/IPBS).

State superintendent Glenda Ritz is asking state lawmakers to study the state’s voucher program in the second half of this 2016 General Assembly. As the legislature began the week, Ritz praised efforts made during the first half and explained her goals for the next.

She says she is happy the legislature expedited two education bills into law in the first five weeks. Both bills help hold teachers and schools harmless from the low ISTEP+ scores issued this year.

Ritz also expressed gratitude for legislation that would create a committee to study the ISTEP+ and evaluate its effectiveness.

“Since my campaign in 2012, I have called for an end to the costly, lengthy, pass/fail ISTEP+ assessment system currently in place in Indiana,” she said. “Instead we should create a new, student-centered assessment that provides students, families and educators with very quick feedback about student growth and performance. I am pleased to see momentum toward the creation of a committee I called for to study the design of a new state assessment.”

Ritz is asking the legislature to amend the bills creating this committee to make the state superintendent its co-chair – a provision not in the current version of the bills.

Another bill the state superintendent wants to see signed into law is a House bill that mandates all schools offer every diploma type available.

“This legislation has particular positive impact for students with special needs,” Ritz said. “Every student should be allowed to choose the pathway that bests meets their education and career goals.”

Ritz’s biggest ask of the legislature as it finishes its session for the year deals with the state’s expansive voucher program. She acknowledges that although this isn’t a budget session, focusing on the financial impact of this system is important going forward.

“For that reason, I am calling for a pause on the expansion of school vouchers,” Ritz said. “For too long, Indiana has diverted funding from public schools without studying the impact on our traditional school system. It is time for our state legislature to fully study the fiscal and academic impacts that the school voucher system is having on Indiana’s education system.”

There are a few bills still being considered addressing different issues of school choice, and Ritz says her main goal would be to stop the expansion of the program.

Stay up to date with all education legislation being considered in our legislative tracker.

Comments

  • bengal tiger

    Tax-payer monies should not and should never have been diverted from public schools to FOR PROFIT Charter Schools.

  • Junior Tina Bowers

    its time for our law makers to get off their high horse and actually do an in depth study on not only the effects that re-directing funds meant for the public education system is having on said system, but what its doing to small town America in general! do the proponents for this voucher system fully understand that this ultimately leads to the closure of established schools in the public system due to lack of funding- and that in turn leads to the community dying-and that threatens the traditional hoosier way of life. And for what? so for profit schools can profit further at the expense of community after community? or so private schools -that became private schools in the first place because they didn’t want government involvement interfering with their beliefs-can grow and spread their religious doctrine- what happened to separation of church and state? we the people do not want our tax money meant for public schools used to ultimately destroy public schools.- if the powers that be insist on continuing to support these alternative schools then use alternative funding! because the current system is killing an American way of life.

  • Families First

    The voucher program in Indiana is an excellent program. I hope this spreads to all 50 states. When compared to private schools most government (a.k.a public) schools have continuously failed to provide our children a good education and have pushed all types of immoral behavior on the children.
    The best thing for this country would be for more government schools to be closed down and to be replaced by Catholic and Christian schools. For decades our tax dollars have been used to destroy families and now with the voucher program it is being used for good so of course liberals don’t like that.
    By the way, separation of church and state is not in the constitution.
    It is such a shame what liberals have done to this country.

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