In my most recent Statehouse Notes I told you that Senate Bill 255 is a stunning proposal to give control of education funding to parents. I deeply oppose this plan and urge you to oppose it as well.

Senate Bill 255 is dead for this session, but Senator Mishler says it will be in the budget debate in 2025, which means we can ask candidates to take a stand on it before the election.

Our second Gaping Flaw in this plan: State standards for schooling would no longer be set by the General Assembly or by the State Board of Education. Parents would set all standards as they run state-funded homeschools.

Holding homeschool students to any state standards would be impossible. Parents would set all standards with no input from taxpayers.
If Senator Leising’s bill to require cursive writing passes, parent-run homeschools could simply ignore the law.

The movement to raise standards in Indiana begun in 1999 would collapse.

Low standards were illustrated in the February 4 edition of the IndyStar: “Samantha Field, now 36, who was homeschooled in Florida for nearly a decade. said,‘Current Florida law definitely failed me massively as a home schooler,’ Field said. There was a lack of accountability: Her parents fabricated her records and she got an ‘essentially meaningless’ diploma, she said. In hindsight, Field views her teen education years as a ‘giant waste of time’. She said she studied only lower levels of math, science and language arts, and was never exposed to people of diverse backgrounds. Moreover, ‘I was taught a completely alternate version of world history and American history that turned out to largely not be true,’ ”

Look for the remaining gaping flaws in future issues of this special series of Vic’s Statehouse Notes.

Our public schools that have served as the backbone of our democracy for 170 years deserve our support.

Thank you for your active support of public education in Indiana!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

Vic’s Statehouse Notes and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!

ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. We need your membership to help support ICPE lobbying efforts. We need all ICPE members to renew their membership if you have not done so.

Our lobbyist Joel Hand has represented ICPE extremely well in the 2023 budget session. We need your memberships and your support to continue his work. We welcome additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!

Visit ICPE’s website at for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!

Vic Smith is a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969, serving as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor.

Vic received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the IU School of Education, he was named to the Teacher Education Hall of Fame by the Association for Teacher Education and received the 2018 Friend of Education Award from the Indiana State Teachers Association.

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