State of Indiana Archives: on Education


Woody Myers: We can take a hard look at our voucher program

We can empower our public schools by giving them the resources and funding needed to provide a high-quality education to all students. We can take a hard look at our voucher program; while school choice has a place in our education system, the current program is not serving us well. It has created more demand for limited resources, reducing the funding available for classroom instruction and teacher salaries. We should make transparency and accountability a priority.
Source: 2020 Indiana governor campaign website DrWoodyMyers.com Mar 25, 2020

Woody Myers: We need multiple pathways to obtain good-paying jobs

Indiana currently ranks among the 10 worst states in educational attainment and lacks the appropriate policies to support learners who haven't fared well in college. Our population demands multiple pathways to obtain good-paying jobs whether through a college degree, a certificate, apprenticeship, or vocational training. We aren't prepared to withstand the pressures of automation and its squeeze on jobs that's predicted for the future, with too many workers in dead end jobs vulnerable to loss.
Source: 2020 Indiana governor campaign website DrWoodyMyers.com Mar 25, 2020

Woody Myers: For higher teacher pay & better testing model for students

Myers leaped on the governor for the pitiful way the state treats its teachers. He called for higher teacher pay and a better testing model for students. He also supported increasing the smoking age to 21 and curbing layoffs that have upended middle-class families.
Source: Evansville Courier & Press on 2020 Indiana governor race Mar 2, 2020

Eric Holcomb: $115 million to increase teacher pay, more to come

I created the Teacher Compensation Commission and asked them to come up with a sustainable plan to make our teacher salaries competitive with other Midwestern states. Last year, we devoted an unprecedented increase of $763 million new dollars in K-12 education, including paying down $150 million in the Teacher Retirement Fund, which freed up $65 million more a year for teacher pay increases.

More Indiana school districts have raised teacher salaries this year than in any other year in recent history. I am recommending that the General Assembly use an additional $250 million from our surplus and put it toward teacher retirement funds. In turn, $50 million a year will be generated to redirect to teacher pay. Together that's $115 million more available annually to increase teacher pay with more to come after the Compensation Commission releases its recommendations.

Source: 2020 Indiana State of the State address Jan 14, 2020

Woody Myers: Boost teacher pay, increase access to vocational schools

He criticized the state's recent tax cuts for corporations and financial institutions. He discussed boosting teacher pay and increasing access to vocational schools and community colleges.

"Teachers are leaving our state in record numbers, students are being forced to deal with overcrowded classrooms and less individual attention, and it's wrong that music classes and art classes are becoming optional."

Source: Indianapolis Star on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Dec 31, 2019

Eddie Melton: Worked for Obama on mentoring boys and young men of color

Senator Melton has been instrumental in establishing mentoring organizations around the country and in 2015 was asked to work with Obama's administration in implementing My Brother's Keeper, a national initiative designed to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color.
Source: 2020 Indiana Gubernatorial campaign website EddieMelton.com Dec 5, 2019

Eddie Melton: Increasing pay will address state teacher shortage

Eddie Melton introduced a bill that would address the startling lack of compensation teachers receive in the State of Indiana. Melton proposed raising teacher salaries by appropriating additional funds to the school funding formula in the 2019 budget session, showing our teachers that we value the hard work they do for all of our state's children. Improving teachers' compensation will also address the prevalent teacher shortage our state has increasingly faced over the years.
Source: 2020 Indiana Gubernatorial campaign website EddieMelton.com Dec 5, 2019

Woody Myers: Higher teacher pay; end unnecessary administrative burdens

Many of those I spoke with have advanced degrees but are not making enough to support their families without second jobs. They are burdened by unnecessary licensing requirements. They are frustrated by standardized tests that do not accurately measure students and their progress. Far too often our teachers are acting as mental health counselors for their students because there are not enough social workers and others to meet student needs. Education in our state has reached crisis mode. We ask our teachers to work incredibly hard to give our children a stable foundation for the future. But that's hard to do when their own financial futures are rocky, and their attention is divided by a second job. We MUST do better. As your next governor, I pledge to work with the General Assembly to ensure more state funds make it into public school teacher pockets- and that unnecessary administrative burdens are removed. I am with Indiana's teachers.
Source: Anderson Herald-Bulletin on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Nov 26, 2019

Eddie Melton: Criticizes current budget that favors online/charter schools

Melton, 38, who represents Gary in the General Assembly, criticized Holcomb for signing a budget that he said provides more dollars to virtual and charter schools than public classrooms, which he said saw a smaller funding increase. Melton said Holcomb's administration has also failed to adequately respond to demands for reforming the Department of Child Resources.
Source: Crawfordsville Journal Review on 2020 Indiana Governor race Oct 13, 2019

Woody Myers: Pay teachers what they deserve; future depends on it

Myers said education is one of the areas he will focus on the most, saying "we'll stop cutting education and start paying our teachers what they deserve because our teachers are worth it, and the future of the state depends on it."
Source: TheStateHouseFile.com on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Jul 10, 2019

Eddie Melton: No investment is more important than our students

I firmly believe that our budget is a reflection of our values. For example, Indiana is ranked dead last in teachers' salaries and 49th in student spending, yet we have a $2 billion surplus. No investment is more important than our students. Education is the bedrock of our community and the future of our economy. In order for us to advance the goals and dreams of our children that we all have shared, we must come together as Hoosiers from across the entire state.
Source: Chicago Crusader on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Jun 7, 2019

Eddie Melton: Reduce private school vouchers; increase teacher pay

Melton has become the point person for Senate Democrats on education issues, pushing a plan during this year's legislative session that aimed at guaranteeing a minimum 5% raise for teachers by reducing state funding of vouchers for students attending private schools, eliminating proposed increases for charter schools and stretching out state payments toward a teacher pension fund.
Source: Chicago Tribune on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Jun 4, 2019

Eric Holcomb: Supports teaching creation science in public schools

Legislative Summary: SB373: A public secondary school student may receive elective academic credits for released time religious instruction classes.

Summary by Washington Times-Herald, 2/20/19: SB373 introduced sweeping changes to the role religion plays in public schools, opening the door for schools to teach courses on creation science and Bible studies. Under SB373, public high schools would be able to count time spent by a student on optional religious instruction as academic credit.

Columbia Law School update: On Feb. 21, 2019, the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development’approved’amendments to SB373. The amendments removed the section allowing the governing body of a school corporation to require the teaching of creation science and other theories regarding the origin of life.

Legislative Summary: Passed House 67-26-7 on 4/2/19; Passed Senate 40-8-2 on 4/8/19; Signed by Governor on 5/5/19; Public Law #226

Source: Columbia Law School analysis of Indiana voting record SB1318 May 5, 2019

Victoria Spartz: Supports teaching creation science in public schools

Legislative Summary: SB373: A public secondary school student may receive elective academic credits for released time religious instruction classes.

Summary by Washington Times-Herald, 2/20/19: SB373 introduced sweeping changes to the role religion plays in public schools, opening the door for schools to teach courses on creation science and Bible studies. Under SB373, public high schools would be able to count time spent by a student on optional religious instruction as academic credit.

Columbia Law School update: On Feb. 21, 2019, the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development’approved’amendments to SB373. The amendments removed the section allowing the governing body of a school corporation to require the teaching of creation science and other theories regarding the origin of life.

Legislative Summary: Passed House 67-26-7 on 4/2/19; Passed Senate 40-8-2 on 4/8; Sen. Spartz voted YES; Signed by Governor on 5/5.

Source: Columbia Law School analysis of Indiana voting record SB1318 Apr 8, 2019

Eddie Melton: Opposes teaching creation science in public schools

A bill by Sen. Dennis Kruse introduced sweeping changes to the role religion plays in public schools, opening the door for schools to teach courses on creation science and Bible studies. It passed out of the education committee in an 8-2 vote, with Sen. Mark Stoops and Eddie Melton voting against.

Should SB 373 become law, public high schools will be able to count time spent by a student on optional religious instruction as academic credit.

Source: Washington Times-Herald on Indiana voting record: SB373 Feb 20, 2019

Eric Holcomb: Early start on career paths in opportunity industries

Our efforts and investments are designed to meet the goal of ensuring 60 percent of Hoosier adults have a high-value credential beyond high school. We must get our kids to start thinking about their career paths earlier in their lives. We will introduce every student to career and apprenticeship options in Indiana's key opportunity industries. We'll support students who seek a four-year degree and those who don't, so that everyone has a pathway to a fulfilling career.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Indiana legislature Jan 15, 2019

Eric Holcomb: $140M to increase teacher pay

We're in a financial position to use surplus dollars to pay off a pension liability that local schools currently pay. Just like paying off your mortgage frees up money in your personal budget, this state investment will save all local schools $140 million over the biennium with continued savings thereafter. I believe local school districts should allocate 100 percent of the $140 million to increasing teacher paychecks.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to Indiana legislature Jan 15, 2019

Andrew Straw: Students can pray in school, but not imposed by teachers

Q: How do you balance God in the public sphere?

A: Only in a manner consistent with the Constitution and the First Amendment. All faiths are welcome in the’USA.

Q: Is requiring teacher-led prayer in public schools consistent with the Constitution? Or student-led prayers?

A: As long as there are tests in school, there will be prayers. Students have the right to pray. Teachers and administrators should not impose any religious requirement on students unless it is a private school.

Source: OnTheIssues follow-up with 2018 Indiana Senate candidate Mar 2, 2018

Andrew Straw: Supports vouchers and more school choices

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Vouchers for school choice"?

A: Support. Especially given the school shooting disaster in Florida, parents should have more school choices.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Indiana Senate candidate Feb 28, 2018

Todd Rokita: Against Common Core; for school choice

I believe Washington bureaucrats have no business in our children's classrooms and I have worked diligently and successfully to give the power of educating our children back to those who know best, our parents, teachers and local school districts. I oppose Common Core and any similar concept of a national school board setting curriculum. I support school choice to ensure a child's educational opportunities are not determined by the zip code a child grows up in.
Source: 2018 Indiana Senatorial website ToddRokita.com Oct 1, 2017

Eddie Melton: Every child deserves a quality public education

Source: Ballotpedia.org Connection: 2020 Indiana Governor race Nov 1, 2016

Todd Young: Market alternatives to federal stranglehold on college loans

Student Loans, Scholarships and Pell Grants: The federal government's stranglehold on higher education student financing has led to dramatically rising costs and a growing bubble of student debt. Recently, I introduced the Investing in Student Success Act of 2015, which will implement market principles and create an alternative, debt-free student financing option for higher education.
Source: Vote-USA.org on 2016 Indiana Senate incumbents Aug 10, 2016

Mike Pence: Pro-voucher so parents decide how to educate their kids

Each year since his election, Pence has spoken at an annual school choice rally, affirming his support for publicly funded vouchers to pay private school tuition for low- & middle-income families and for charter schools. "Children in this state ought to be afforded opportunities for quality education. Those decisions should be made in the best interests of our kids, and those decisions should be made by parents." Pence has pushed to expand charter schools & vouchers, with some legislative wins in 2015.
Source: ChalkBeat.org on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race Jul 15, 2016

Mike Pence: Incentivize teaching as a career

This year let's find ways to make teaching more attractive and do our part to encourage more Hoosiers to pursue careers in education. That is why I am so enthusiastic about Speaker Bosma's Next Generation Scholarship that would cover up to $7,500 per year in tuition for students who are in the top 20 percent of their class and commit to teaching in Indiana for at least five years.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature Jan 12, 2016

Mike Pence: Testing regime needs to be improved

Accountability is important, but testing must be reliable and the results fairly applied. Let's take a step back from ISTEP and improve on the test we use to measure our kids and schools every year. Let's also take action to ensure that our teachers and schools are treated fairly with the results of the latest ISTEP test. I promise you we will make sure the 2015 test scores fairly reflect the performance of our schools and will not affect teacher bonuses or compensation.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature Jan 12, 2016

John Gregg: Totally against Indiana's school voucher program

Gregg is concerned about Indiana's school voucher program, something he says he's "totally against." He sees the program as taking money out of public schools, an issue that desperately needs addressed.

Charter schools, on the other hand, are here to stay. The problem Gregg sees is when charter school legislation was passed, there was accountability in the fact teachers at those schools had to be licensed. That's no longer the case.

"I think what we need to do is rather than continue down this road, we need to kind of take a breath, sit back and look, and really take a hard look and see what's working, and what's not," Gregg said. "And I think there's a lot of pride of ownership in a lot of this education reform. People were so heaven-bent on making this happen that they don't want to admit maybe it needs tweaked or it has problems with it."

Source: Kokomo Tribune on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Sep 24, 2015

Eric Holcomb: Give parents the freedom to choose child's school

Here at home, we have seen in practice, not in theory, what happens when we honestly balance budgets, cut taxes, create a savings account for rainy days, build roads and bridges, and give parents the freedom to choose in which school their child can best learn. We have proven just how productive we can be when we are for something rather than against everything but the perfect.
Source: Holcomb's Kokomo Tribune OpEd on 2016 Indiana Senate race Jul 9, 2015

Brian Bosma: Supports vouchers and charter schools

Q: Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?

A: No.

Q: Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support state funding for charter schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?

A: Yes.

Bosma adds, "Circumstances will vary the above generalized answers. We must continue to do all we can to lift teacher training and effectiveness and treat teachers as the professionals they are."

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial 2012 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Donnelly: Pell Grants for low-income students, & lower interest rates

Mourdock favors abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and transferring its responsibilities to the state and local levels. "Instead of sending Hoosier money to Washington, I think we ought to be keeping that money and as always, letting schools be run at the local level and at the state level," he said.

Donnelly touted his support for funding Pell Grants for low-income students, as well as a measure that kept student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent rather than 6.8 percent. Donnelly opposed eliminating the Education Department. "Our ability to compete as a state, our ability to compete as a country, depends on our education level," he said.

Source: Evansville Courier & Press on 2012 Indiana Senate debate Oct 15, 2012

Richard Mourdock: Transfer federal education role to state & local level

Mourdock favors abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and transferring its responsibilities to the state and local levels. "Instead of sending Hoosier money to Washington, I think we ought to be keeping that money and as always, letting schools be run at the local level and at the state level," he said.

Donnelly touted his support for funding Pell Grants for low-income students, as well as a measure that kept student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent rather than 6.8 percent. Donnelly opposed eliminating the Education Department. "Our ability to compete as a state, our ability to compete as a country, depends on our education level," he said.

Source: Evansville Courier & Press on 2012 Indiana Senate debate Oct 15, 2012

John Gregg: Teachers must be a part of the education reform conversation

I want, when we're talking education reform, to give teachers a voice. I want us to also listen to the principal, listen to the superintendent, a parent, school board member. Changes are going to be implemented by the classroom teachers and the principals. So to cut to the quick, I just don't see how you reform public education by scapegoating the teachers and public education.
Source: Indiana Public Media on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Sep 28, 2012

John Gregg: I am not a fan of vouchers

The day I'm elected is when the war on public education and public educators, our schoolteachers, quits. I'm not a fan of vouchers, not one bit at all. Those are public tax dollars.
Source: Indiana Public Media on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Sep 28, 2012

Mitch Daniels: End cruel, defeatist practice of passing kids who can't read

The days when education debates started and stopped at dollar signs are over, and high time. From President Obama down, everyone now recognizes that leaders in education are defined not by what they put in but by what they get out. But just for the record, and despite frequent misrepresentations to the contrary, Indiana is a leader in what we put in.

But that's not why others are following Indiana. It's our new commitment to rewarding the best teachers, liberating principals and superintendents, and providing low- and middle-income parents the same choices as their wealthier neighbors; that's what has caught the world's attention. And this year, when we end the cruel, defeatist practice of passing children who cannot read into fourth grade, and when our most diligent students begin to graduate from high school in 11 years, and get a head start on college costs with the dollars they earned through their hard work, others will take notice of Indiana yet again.

Source: Indiana 2012 State of the State Address Jan 10, 2012

Mitch Daniels: Lift backward-looking limits on charter schools

First, this Assembly heeded the call of President Obama and others and lifted Indiana's backward-looking limits on charter schools and on considering student achievement in evaluating teachers. Then our Professional Standards Board, led by our superb new Superintendent Tony Bennett, acted to strengthen standards for new teachers, and to open both classroom and leadership positions to those whose hearts call them to teaching from other walks of life.
Source: Indiana 2010 State of the State Address Jan 19, 2010

Mike Pence: Eliminate "No Child Left Behind" K-12 testing requirements

Source: Congressional Indiana 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Mitch Daniels: Support vouchers for public schools

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Mitch Daniels: Use lottery revenue for free college tuition for two years

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Mitch Daniels: Voluntary prayer in public schools

Q: Do you support a moment of silence in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support voluntary prayer in public schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: Yes.

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Indiana Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Education.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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