Education Pence budget underscores divisive 2015 legislative session

Pence budget underscores divisive 2015 legislative session

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INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement after Governor Mike Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1001 into law Thursday.

“If this was the governor’s so-called “education session,” the only thing we learned was the extent of the damage one-party control can inflict.

“How, if this is the largest increase in school funding in state history as Republicans claim, did some schools still lose funding?

“The school formula is Republicans’ cold calculation. It’s the tool they’ve devised to determine whose future to invest in and whose to pass over.

“The hard truth is some students will attend schools that won and some will attend schools that lost.

“Marketplace ideology has no place in the classroom.

“Every legislative session moves Indiana further and further away from the public aim of guaranteeing a quality, enriching education for every Hoosier student.

“Nearly $2.8 million in scholarship tax breaks for Hoosiers earning $100,000 or more, $100 million of taxpayer money to subsidize private schools, contracts with for-profit, out-of-state school takeover providers, the list only grows.

“We’ve kept our foot on the “education-as-a-business” gas pedal and now we’ve taken our hands off the wheel. Indiana is approaching critical mass.

“Priorities matter. Leadership matters. Why were Republicans so eager to stoke the flames of injustice with RFRA? The party of business cost Hoosier firms as much as $1 billion and their “fix” missed the point. Discrimination remains legal in most areas of Indiana.

“We’ve got to refocus our attention on helping regular Hoosiers earn a little more and get ahead.

“And some progress was made.

“This budget took steps in the right direction by funding mass transit projects in Northwest Indiana and enabling the Department of Child Services to hire the caseworkers they desperately need.

“This budget leaves more work to be done. We’ll continue to advance common sense initiatives that ensure every Hoosier family has a shot at success.”

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