Vic’s Statehouse Notes #347 – Sound the alarm

by | Dec 19, 2020 | 2021 Legislative Session, Indiana Legislature, Legislative Priorities, Privatization, State Budget, Statehouse Notes, Vouchers

Dear Friends,

Sound the alarm! We don’t need a new legislative crisis during this horrendous pandemic.

Word from the Statehouse is that the Republican supermajority plans to give public tax money to upper income and wealthy private school parents to pay their private school tuition. Currently, vouchers pay all or part of private school tuition for families earning $95,000 or less for a family of four. The proposed plan would remove all income caps.

This is obviously a bad idea during our economic crisis. It would not give school choice to any additional students. The students from upper income and wealthy families are already going to private schools. This plan would just shift the tuition bill for those upper income families to public taxpayers, including low income taxpayers.

This proposal is tone deaf to the fact that public schools serving students of poverty face cuts in the upcoming budget due to the COVID recession. This idea shamefully proposes to take from the poor and give to the rich.

It’s not right. This should not stand.

There is also talk of giving public tuition money to home school parents for the first time. This is another expensive idea that is totally wrong during the pandemic crisis. Since home schools are unregulated and unsupervised, whether or not public dollars would be used to teach children to support our democracy and the U.S. Constitution would be unknown.

These proposals to divert money to private school and home school parents should be non-starters during the pandemic and economic crisis we are in. Contact legislators to make that point.

Let your State Representative and your State Senator know that this is the wrong time to divert funding from public taxpayers to give to wealthy parents who want their children to go to religious or private schools or to home school parents.

Email or contact your legislators, or any legislator, at your earliest opportunity. Then add an email to the leaders of both the House, Speaker Huston (, and the Senate, President ProTempore Bray (

Tell them that:

  • Giving more money to higher income and wealthy families during this crisis is wrong.
  • This idea is not a mandate of the election, because it was not a visible issue in the campaign.
  • This is no time to revisit the bitter 2011 battle over private school vouchers.
  • They should support our current public schools to the maximum degree during this recession and not try to drive a nail in their coffin.

Thank you for supporting public education in Indiana!

Stay safe,

Vic Smith

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