CALL TO ACTION: Parent Toolkit for Legislative Advocacy on HB 1005, SB 412, and SB 413

The Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County has submitted an open letter to Indiana legislators regarding three bills with the potential to negatively impact public education in Indiana. Please see below for information on these bills from the Indiana School Boards Association and a toolkit to help you contact legislators to tell them to vote NO on these bills.

House Bill 1005 and Senate Bill 412 would create education savings accounts (ESAs) that give selected parents who withdraw their children from public school the equivalent of a taxpayer-funded debit card loaded with a share of state per-pupil funding. This money could be spent at the parent’s discretion on a variety of educational services and products, including private school, home school, tutors, and therapy. This would cost Southern Hancock roughly $6,000 per student. 

Indiana lawmakers have also proposed spending more money on the school voucher program to allow upper-class families to send their children to private school at taxpayer expense. Voucher eligibility would expand to cover a family of four earning $145,000 annually (about double the state’s median family income) and a family of five with an annual income of $170,000. 

Senate Bill 413 would also increase school voucher award amounts using taxpayer money. Voucher amounts for some students would jump from 50% all the way to 90% of the per-pupil funding the local school district would have received for the student. Indiana already spent more than $1 billion on the school voucher program over the past decade. 

Our school administration is concerned about the future of school funding in Indiana due to proposed expansions of the voucher program. We encourage our parents and community members to contact legislators and encourage them to stop significant expansions to Indiana’s voucher program.

Tools for Contacting Your Legislators:

Explainer from the Indiana Coalition for Public Education on how vouchers take money from public schools

–   Talking points download from Indiana School Board Association

–   Form letter to send to legislators

–   How to contact legislators by phone or email

–   Text of House Bill 1005

–   Text of Senate Bill 412

–   Text of Senate Bill 413

–   Additional Information on Indiana’s School Choice Program

Board Business: February 2021

This blog post in intended to keep you up to date on the happenings of the Board of School Trustees of the Community School Corporation of Southern Hancock County’s meetings. Please read below for a recap of the board’s regular meeting on Feb. 8, 2021.

Monday’s meeting began with the approval of two donations. John Lytell Insurance Agency donated $1,000 to the New Palestine High School athletics department. R.A. Pritt donated $5,000 to the NPHS softball team.

The board approved the cancelation of any outstanding checks issued more than two years ago. This is completed in accordance with procedures set by the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

The board approved a renewal of the district’s contact with Walker Career Center for Southern Hancock students to receive instruction in Career & Technical Education courses for the 2021-22 school year.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 8, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at the CSCSHC Administration Office.