From Superintendent Andrew Melin, Ph.D. for the week of February 21, 2011:
Proposed state legislation could have sweeping impact on K-12 public education
Education legislation at the state level has been at the forefront of the minds of educators, community members, and the media for the past several weeks. Many public educators, and those who support public education, are particularly concerned about the impact of charter school (House Bill 1002) and voucher legislation (House Bill 1003). Both pieces of legislation are geared to give more parents choices in terms of where to educate their children. Whereas both bills create a more competitive environment for public education, most public school educators are concerned about how funding both pieces of legislation will impact K- 12 public education in Indiana. In terms of our school system, we are fortunate to have one of the premier school corporations in the state. We have no fear of competing against any other educational entity in our state in terms of educating our children. Increased competition is not the concern of our school corporation. Our great concern is the financial impact on our school corporation of approving charter school and voucher legislation in which increasing state funding will take already limited educational dollars away from our school system.
HB 1002 could increase the number of charter schools in our state. Although VCS has no problem competing with charter schools for local students, from a financial standpoint, the more charter schools created in the state means the more students who may transfer to charter schools. There is only so much funding available for K-12 education. The more charter schools created, the less funding available to support all K-12 public schools. There is also a financial impact on local school systems from a transportation fund perspective, because the legislation calls for a share of a school systems’ transportation fund to be used to support transporting charter school students. HB 1003 increases state funding support to provide scholarships to qualified students to pay the costs of tuition and fees at a public or private elementary school or high school that charges tuition. Like HB 1002, this legislation requires the use of state dollars currently allocated to public schools; therefore, reducing state funding to existing public schools. Both HB 1002 and HB 1003 can impact K-12 school funding, which is of great concern to our school system and many other school systems in Indiana.
Our next VCS Strategic Planning Committee meeting will be this Thursday, February 24 from 7-8:30 a.m. in the VHS cafeteria. The committee will focus on reviewing actual results and timelines.
We hope our students, staff, and parents had a restful mid-winter break.
The Public Education Foundation of Valparaiso recently changed its name to the Valpo Schools Foundation. We are fortunate to have a foundation and appreciate the commitment of its board.
I want to thank Asst. Superintendent Rob Haworth, VHS Principal Jim Doane, and all other staff members associated with the outstanding recognition ceremony of TJMS Principal Paul Knauff at last Friday’s boys’ basketball game. Mr. Knauff is retiring from VCS after 44 years in education with 24 of those years in VCS.
- February 28 ISTEP+ Writing Begins
- March 15 Board Meeting
- March 25 End of 3rd grading period
- March 28 Spring Break begins