The Indiana Republicans just can’t get enough of trouncing on our public school system and the parents who stand by it.  Once again, just to reinforce their love of anything non-public, Republicans gussied up the now-legal package of enticements to draw students away from Indiana’s public schools.

A beneficial tax deduction – one not available on an equal basis to the parents of public school students – was included in last year’s legislation.  Come April 17th, parents of home-schooled students and private school students will be the beneficiaries of a tax deduction of $1,000.  But, if your children attend our public schools, don’t look under the Christmas tree – or for a tax-line deduction – for an extra gift to help with all the hundreds of dollars in expenses attendant to public school enrollment.

The presents are all going to the private schools and the charter schools while throwing in a bone to home-schoolers.  The Republican war on our public school system is inexcusable, and, make no mistake, it is a war.  Daniels and Bennett have made no bones – or apologies for that matter – about their desire to weaken our public schools.  While they continue to pooh-pooh that assertion, folks, actions speak louder than words.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Education, Government, Indiana, Indiana General Assembly, Mitch Daniels, Republican Party, Republicans, Tony Bennett and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. tim zank says:

    War on schools? Please. Rather a war on mediocrity. Why are liberals hell bent on keeping the cesspools which are public schools chugging along with lousy results? You’ve been doing the same thing for 40 years with results that have been static at best and are even getting worse.

  2. I highly doubt every public school in Indiana is mediocre. To label all public schools “cesspools” is a misrepresentation and a sterotype. The charters are fairing no better. And, in Indiana, in fact, the last report showed many charter schools with lower graduation rates than public schools.

    As to private schools, they are 85% religiously affiliated in Indiana, and the Indiana Constitution prohibits taking funds from the general treasury to support religious institutions. And, don’t give me that bull crap about “oh, but the money is going to the parents, not the schools.” That is BS and everyone knows it. When you have no choice as to a private school affiliation, then the “choice” comes out of the “choice program.”

    Every Fort Wayne school that applied to take vouchers is a religiously-affiliated institution. And, when a state’s private schools are 85% affiliated with religious institutions, then you have no choice.

    • tim zank says:

      My point is, your headline is ridiculous, and the schools have been broken for decades, why wouldn’t you welcome ANY kind of experiment, program, voucher, or idea? Year after year I hear “do it for the children” and all “progressives” do is allocate more money for stupid sh*t. It’s painfully obvious the current 40 year old model is an abject failure as kids know how to put condoms on but can’t SPELL the word condoms. There are only two possibilities, either progressives are happy with their results (uneducated children) or they are more worried about the cash flow to unions, which one is it?

      • My headline states an obvious fact. Daniels and Bennett and the Republican general assembly have been after public education for quite some time. Why not allow the $1,000 deduction for parents of children in public schools? Why just private schools?

        After all, if it is the parents’ “choice” to send their children to a private school or home school, why do they deserve a deduction? They made that choice, and there shouldn’t be any perks that go with that choice. This is simply another tactic to make it more attractive to abandon the public schools.

        I am surprised you don’t have a criticism of the new tax deduction – after all, you typically disfavor the tax system we have, so how is it you support another tax break?

        You failed to address the issue of the Constitutional prohibition of public funds being taken for religious institutions. No choice program exists where there isn’t a choice.

        Your assertion that the current model is an “abject failure” is a blatant stereotype that all public schools are failures. An absolute lie.

  3. cw martin says:

    Jeez, I thought the point was to give parents who foot the total bill for choice education an ability to do so even in hard economic times, while much of public school is paid for by the government- i.e. including people who charter and home school. I do agree that not all public schools are failures. But the federal “one-size fits all” aproach does hurt a LOT of schools.

    • The public schools were set up to educate a mass of children – there isn’t any way to get around mass education. We are a heterogeneous society, not homogenous like smaller European nations (or other countries around the world). Anything that is done “en masse” raises issues.

      But, overall, I think our demands on our public schools to “socialize” our children into the larger society are efforts that need to be supported, not destroyed.

      Private schools were started as alternatives to public schools. And, I will guarantee you that almost all private schools in this country are religiously affiliated. I don’t want my tax dollars going to support religious schools. In addition, our Indiana founders also didn’t want that to happen as can be seen by their including the prohibition against taking public money from the general funds to support religious institutions.

      The argument that the money is going to the parents and not the institutions is disingenuous when 85% of Indiana’s private schools are religious in nature. All participating schools in Fort Wayne are religiously affiliated. Not much of a choice for parents.

      It also raises the issue of state-sponsored religious education. Is the state now sanctioning the indoctrination of those children who are now attending religious institutions through the choice program? The curricula contain religious training and indoctrination – again, something that our founders made clear was not to be supported using public dollars.

      If the program is called “Choice” then that is the parents’ choice, but why are we giving deductions for a “choice” that those parents select? Why are we giving them even more money for a choice that was not forced upon them?

      Realistically, few parents foot the total bill for private education. In Fort Wayne, many of the private schools have scholarships and funds already set up to help parents who do not have the funds to send their children to private schools.

      This is simply another way to support private (religious) institutions while undermining our public school system. Otherwise, why not give the deduction to all parents not just those who have chosen private schools and home schooling?

  4. Evert Mol says:

    The only schools really affected by these initiatives are in urban areas, where public/government schools have been unable to deal with the demographics.They won’t reform themselves and have invited intervention by the state and the feds. Daniels and Bennett may not be able to turn them around either but they are at least willing to try. The education establishment wasn’t willing to do anything except preserve the status quo and give lip service to change.

    No pain no gain. They deserve no sympathy whatsoever.

    • Totally inaccurate. The day the suburbs have to deal with all the issues of the urban schools, then come back and trash the public schools in the urban core.

      It has nothing to do with reforming – what would you have them do? Stop the ESL programs? Deny food? The various additional burdens that urban schools assume do not even begin to exist in the suburbs. You are trying to argue apples to oranges.

  5. Evert Mol says:

    At the top of your blog it says you’re “progressive”. That implies you favor progress. Urban public schools are not making any progress. Whatever they need to try to change course they will only do it voluntarily as long as they don’t have to get out of their comfort zone. So voluntarily they have never done anything painful.

    Wendy called the restructuring the state shoved down her throat the biggest gamble she had ever taken. There was no gamble. There was the certainty that if she didn’t go along, SSHS and NSHS would become charter schools. That’s what it took to wake them up. Your apple and oranges comment implies the situation in urban schools is acceptable and they should just be left alone and given more money.

    • I am progressive, but, just as with any other “label” in this life, variants exist.

      You have not addressed the questions I have asked about the differences between urban schools with their many responsibilities and the suburban schools with literally no similar issues.

      You are simply focusing on urban schools in the public school system. It is time critics looked at the urban schools and the suburban schools as two distinct educational systems – both public in nature yet separated by social issues that are common in one and not the other.

      I am not saying the situation is acceptable. I am a product of a public school system. I am a college grad and have a doctorate. All four of my sons are college grads, one with his masters and another one soon to start – all products of the public school system.

      But we went to a public school system virtually free of the issues in today’s urban core schools located in larger areas. My use of apples and oranges is a reference to the differences in the subsets of the public school system.

Comments are closed.