Capitol Insider

Share This

Capitol Insider 

March 5, 2021 

 

Will Public Schools Survive

            If Indiana public schools are to survive the efforts of Indiana’s supermajority legislators, it’s going to take the voice and action of every person who wants to keep our public schools.  After all, our public schools provide the best education to the most students.  Use any phrase you want about the importance and urgency to act.  You can say, “Our public schools are the backbone of democracy.”  Or “Democracy cannot survive without an educated populace.”  And “This is an investment in our future.”  All are true. 

              Our battle during this second half of the legislative session is to be the educators we are.  Educate everyone you know about what’s going on in “Our House.”  There are 150 legislators total, combining the House and the Senate, plus the Governor.  Of those, 110 plus the Governor are the supermajority.  That leaves only 40 combined who are the minority.  Like it or not, most of the 40 in the minority support public schools, teachers, and our unions.  Most of the 110 supermajority plus the Governor do NOT support public schools, teachers, or unions.  Many in our own family and our friends haven’t followed what happens after the November elections to see what their elected officials are doing to public schools.  This is where all of us come in. 

              Start talking.  Remember, many people don’t really understand what’s happening.  That’s the subversive plan.  Keep us confused.  Stick “lovely choice language” here and there, put the money under the rug, and get buy-in or at least create confusion and exasperation.  Our friends have their jobs and busy lives.   So often, people say, “I went to school.  I know what it takes to run one.”  Well, I drive a car.  That doesn’t mean I could run an auto factory or build a car. 

              We’ve been talking about HB 1005 – and we will continue talking about that.  What we must understand is that the issue is education savings accounts (ESAs).  HB 1005 could be a façade to the real issue – funding being diverted from public schools to vouchers, choice scholarships, and other privatization efforts.  In the first deceptive move by House Republicans, the enormous $202 million price tag was removed from HB 1005 to mask their efforts.  And where might you find the $202 million?  In the BUDGET BILL (HB 1001).  So now, we have to work on both of these bills.  These are two points that are important to our efforts to educate our members, families, and friends:  1) The effect of ESAs on public education funding, and 2) be ever alert to maneuvers of the shell game experts such as shifting funding and language from one place to another.  

Warning: Be ever vigilant

                

Let’s Get Started 

              AFT Indiana staff along with AFT staff are working to: 

  • prepare educator talking points that can be used in conversations with our members, family, and friends, 
  • connect members through any means necessary whether that’s by text message or the dreaded robocall, 
  • provide scripts for patch-through phone calls to legislators, and 
  • set up some regional zoom meeting with AFT members and their legislators. 

                  All of this will be discussed at the AFT Indiana Presidents’ Council, Saturday, March 6th.  All local presidents have received a zoom link to the meeting.  If you want to attend, please contact your local AFT president to get that link. 

     Joining Together – Two Important Opportunities 

                  VACCINES FOR SCHOOL EMPLOYEES!!  We’ve been invited to join with Meijer  in clinics for educators. These clinics are up and running.  If you have a Meijer in your area, you may want to follow this link to register for a vaccinehttps://clinic.meijer.com/register/CL0034 .  We’ll be in touch with local AFT presidents who may want to set up a Meijer clinic within your district if a Meijer store is not in your area. 

                  Build a coalition to fight for public schools.  Several school districts have already joined the fight together.  Many have passed resolutions with the School Board.  Your district may have already done this.  Many AFT Locals are part of that effort signing on as joint supporters of these resolutions. If you haven’t begun to build that coalition, start now.  We need each other if we are going to defeat all privatization efforts. 

    Helpful Links 

 

 

AFT Indiana Calendar 

  • March 6 – Presidents’ Council and AFT IN Exec Bd Meeting. Presidents have received ZOOM link and agenda.  Any president who did not receive, please email sjsloan@aftindiana.org.  
  • March 18 - Zoom with AFT IN Leaders.  INPRS will be on the call to talk about retirement.  Contact your president for a link. 7 PM Eastern/6 PM Central.  
  • April 29 – Last day of Legislative Session…maybe
  • April 30 – May 1 Annual Convention, Anderson (if in person).  Only May 1 if virtual.  Details regarding in-person potential as well as if we have to hold convention virtually are in the Convention Call. Convention Call was emailed to local Presidents on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.** Hard copies were in put in the US Mail today

 

 

 **PRESIDENTS:  If you have not received your “Convention Call” via email, please contact AFT Indiana Administrative Assistant, Erin Suttle, at assistant@aftindiana.org.    

 

Sally J Sloan
Executive Director
AFT Indiana
445 N. Pennsylvania, Suite 510
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-299-5395, ext. 301