Indiana’s public schools will lose $70 million in funding in order to create the flawed “scholarship” program
Arizona Republic: Oversight of Arizona ESA school-voucher program ‘almost a sham’
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized the Republican supermajority at the Indiana General Assembly for what is an expected approval of House Bill 1005 and the creation of the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) Program, an expansion of the state’s school choice system that’s already gutted funding from Indiana’s public schools. What’s disturbing is the fact Republicans are set to create a program that’s already been found to be manipulated and abused in other states — including by parents using the proposed credit cards for beauty supplies, clothing, and other items that have nothing to do with education. Arizona went as far as to call the program a “sham”.
“If the shoe were on the other foot, the Indiana Republcian Party would describe the new Education Scholarship Account program as some ‘radical, liberal agenda’ by Democrats. They would claim Democrats are abusing tax dollars for partisan gain and demand more oversight than simply handing Hoosiers free money,” said John Zody, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Through their actions, Republicans have shown they do not value public schools, and they’d rather sever the trust voters provided them to take care of their children’s future than actually look after all schools, all teachers, and all students.”
According to our partners with the Indiana House Democratic Caucus, the creation of such programs would further throw Indiana toward the bottom of key ranking figures, including dead last in the Midwest for per pupil funding (41st in the national overall) and average teacher pay (38th in the nation overall). This very fact highlights how the Indiana Republican Party does not value public education — their actions simply prove it.
The Indiana Republican Party’s dislike for the public school system has a growing list of receipts that simply show they never valued public schools to begin with. This year alone, Governor Eric Holcomb refused to allocate a raise for teachers after promising for years to do so. Further, Holcomb disregarded guidance from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) which “strongly encourages” states to vaccinate teachers, some of our most vulnerable frontline workers.