Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daniels Content to Finish I-69 While Schools Layoff Teachers



By Jon Easter
Founder

Governor Mitch Daniels made a bold proclamation yesterday. He said that the I-69 extension from Bloomington to Evansville will be completed by 2014. He plans to spend $700 million from the Major Moves deal to get the construction done.

Now, I understand that Major Moves was a highway deal, and the money must be used for highways. Still, you have to wonder why the Governor would be so ready to announce this type of spending while schools continue to layoff teachers.

Week after week after week, more school boards are forced to make tough decisions. While the Governor fast tracks I-69, his Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett and conservative and moderate General Assembly members continue to systematically dis-assemble the Indiana Public School System. This crappy school funding formula is only one part, but the bigger nail in the coffin was the new property tax law which made my property taxes lower but made my school's funding crappier. If you don't believe me, just look at this website for further proof. Just yesterday, Anderson Community Schools announced they would lay off 163 school employees.

Now, they want to put these new property tax rules into the Indiana Constitution. If you care about schools, kids, and public education, this CANNOT happen. We don't know how all of this will ultimately effect schools. The early results don't look good. Not at all. I know what Mitch is thinking. He's probably thinking that all of these teachers that are not employed anymore can go to work to build I-69.

So, Mitch Daniels advocates for the fast track and on-the-cheap finish of a road but not for our schools? Mitch Daniels has his priorities all mixed up.

3 comments:

AmericanVet said...

Cheap shot. The highway and the property taxes/school funding issues are unrelated. Daniels cannot spend that money for schools. If you are going to raise an issue at least be straight about it.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Over the past three decades we have poured money into K-12 education.

I remember working on education issues for Gov. candidate Rex Early in 1996 and uncovering the statistic that the State of Indiana had increased spending on K-12 in the previous three decades by 47.7% ABOVE the inflation rate. It's not that we don't spend enough on educaiton. The problem is we don't spend our education dollars very wisely. In Pike we spend our education dollars knocking down 20-30 year old schools and building new ones. Oh, and let's not forget the wonderful football stadium we built.

As far as I-69 goes, we should have built that interstate 30 years ago. I used to drive a lot in SW Indiana. Those folks desperately need an interstate.

Jon E. Easter said...

From para 2, "Now, I understand that Major Moves was a highway deal, and the money must be used for highways. Still, you have to wonder why the Governor would be so ready to announce this type of spending while schools continue to layoff teachers."