Education Special session takes away local control from Indiana school districts

Special session takes away local control from Indiana school districts

INDIANAPOLIS—Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following comments after the 2018 special session, which adjourned on Monday.

 

“This special session was simply a rubber stamp version of the regular session that gave the Republican supermajority who control the Senate, the House of Representatives and the governor’s office extra time for not finishing their job on time. Working Hoosiers in the real world don’t get extra time and a bonus when they don’t finish their job within deadlines.

 

“Of course my colleagues on the other side of the aisle got everything they wanted just like they always do, with no regard to what constituents are saying. They got their one-day, no amendment special session and passed all of their non-emergency bills while asking taxpayers, who weren’t allowed to testify, to foot the bill.

 

“I am deeply concerned about House Bill 1315 (ss) that was approved today. I cannot help but feel it is a setback for democratic local governance of public schools. Gone with the locally-elected Muncie School Board and local voting rights. Gone with free speech by prohibiting the Gary School Board from meeting publicly with community members more than four times a year. Gone with the collective bargaining rights for Muncie teachers. Gone with small government and local control. Gone with Hoosiers’ trust in their state government.

 

“This special session showed Hoosiers what Senate Democrats in the General Assembly have been acutely aware of for a while now: the concentration of too much power within supermajorities results in suspending rules, and even provisions of the Indiana constitution. The real lesson is to get the job done on time instead of asking taxpayers for more money.

 

“We have a democracy, legislative rules and a state constitution for good reason. Today we suspended all of those things for the sake of state takeovers of community schools and tax breaks for corporations. I hope that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle think long and hard about what they’ve done here today and feel the weight of their poor choices and abuse of power.”