Sunday, September 21, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 6: Funding for Public Pre-school

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 7 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Do you support state-funded public pre-school with or without the use of vouchers?


(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "Yes, but I don't like vouchers."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "I support state-funded pre-school because it works! I'm against vouchers."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "Yes, Indiana is one of the only states in the country that fails to publicly fund pre-school. This puts our children behind from the start."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Absolutely. Early education is key to a good education. I do not believe in vouchers of any kind. Vouchers will lead to families missing out on opportunities for an equal education."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Yes!"

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "I support state-funded public pre-school without vouchers as we currently know them. I am okay if we establish a system of vouchers to be used at any pre-school which is approved and endorsed by the local public school board. I anticipate this may be particularly necessary if we want to jump-start implementation."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "I believe in state-funded public pre-schools but believe the balance should be less on education standards and more encouraging of development of socialization and proper play with other children."

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The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.

INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

INDIANA SENATE

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 5: Funding for All Day Kindergarten

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 7 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Do you support fully funding the state mandate for all day kindergarten in all public school districts?


(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "Yes, I think every child should get the chance to learn when they are at the fastest learning period in their lives."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "Yes."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "Yes."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Absolutely. Mandates should always be followed with full funding."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Yes! Research has shown that providing all day kindergarten is a significant variable in predicting academic success for students in subsequent school years."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "Yes."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "Yes. All day kindergarten is the essential building block for quality education. I am a supporter of all-day kindergarten programs with the increased socialization and promoting a guide to learning and development."

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The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.

INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

INDIANA SENATE

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Join Us in Supporting Public Education

Some of you who have attended our events or who have read our blog or our Facebook page might wish to be further connected with our group. Since NEIFPE does not have a formal membership, the best way to connect is to join our mailing list and participate in activities we sponsor. In the near term, we are planning to host events that will be open to those who are interested, and we welcome your involvement. We plan to host open forums, letter writing groups, and discussion groups based on current issues regarding education.

However, in the meantime, for those of you who wish to be more involved, here are some suggestions.

1. Sign up for our mailing list and our blog.

2. Join ICPE. Vic Smith's vigilance in Indianapolis is invaluable. However, Joel Hand's lobbying for public education comes at a cost. So please join ICPE. The ICPE $25 membership fee is money well spent. http://www.icpe2011.com

3. Rise Above the Mark will be shown here in Fort Wayne at 2:00 on Saturday, October 4th at the Rinehart Music Center at IPFW. Invite your friends (especially those who are interested in what has been happening to public education).

4. Get informed, get involved, spread the word, write letters to the editor, campaign for candidates who support public education, help get people registered to vote, and then VOTE!

Most of all, remember that together we are a a mighty force.

In the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."


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Friday, September 5, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 4: Equitable Funding

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 7 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Do you believe that the funding formula for schools should be revised so that public schools across the state are equitably funded?


(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "Yes I think all schools should have whatever it takes to succeed, our kids are our future and we need to make sure they have everything they need."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "Yes."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "Yes."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "Public schools are being told to make do with much less that what is realistic. I am a strong supporter of restoring public school funding to adequate levels with a fair system that provides the schools that need the most help the funding that is necessary for student success."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Yes. The current formula is unfair to larger school corporations and entirely dependent on state sales tax revenues (property taxes were eliminated from the formula in 2009). Sales tax revenues are historically unreliable and subject to political influence and economic health."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "Yes."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "Absolutely. We should provide the resources needed to match mandates so that the teachers and schools can be successful for the children. The cuts that have come to education in recent years has already begun to have adverse effects on individual schools, districts, and community development."

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The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.

INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

INDIANA SENATE

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Candidate Questionnaire 3: Public Meetings

In July, The Northeast Indiana Friends of Public Education (NEIFPE) contacted all 21 of the candidates running for federal and state offices in NE Indiana to ask them for their views pertaining to education issues. Each was sent a survey of 10 questions. So far 6 have returned the surveys. If and when others respond, those will also be posted. The comments below are unedited and are the words and thoughts of the candidates. NEIFPE shares this information so voters will be able to make informed choices at the polls on November 4.

(NOTE: A copy of the original (blank) questionnaire may be found HERE.)

Question: Do you agree any school receiving state money should hold board meetings open to the public?


(Note: Candidates are listed by district, and by alphabetical order within districts)

Candidates for State Representative

Charles Odier, D-52: "Without a doubt, let's open the doors and see whats inside! The charter schools in Ohio are now under investigation for changing grades, attendance lies and more."

Phil GiaQuinta, D-80: "Yes, and they should be elected."

Thad Gerardot, D-81: "Yes."

Mike Wilber, D-82: "School board meetings should always be open to the public as a forum for parents to voice their opinions or discontent. I have been vocal at several school board meetings and all parents should have that opportunity."

Fred Haigh, D-84: "Yes! Meetings should not only be held in public, I believe that all board members should be elected, not appointed."

Candidates for State Senate

Jack Morris, D-15: "Yes."

Candidates for U. S. Representative

Justin Kuhnle, D-3: "No board meeting should be held in private for any school receiving any form of taxpayer money. This is another level of accountability that needs adhered to for the promotion of education."

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The following candidates did not provide a response the the questions. (Answers from candidate questionnaires will be added to this page as they are returned.)

Candidates for State Representative
Dan Leonard, R-50
Dennis Zent, R-51
Benjamin Smaltz, R-52
Matt Lehman, R-79
Martin Carbaugh, R-81
David Ober, R-82
Christopher Judy, R-83
Bob Morris, R-84
Casey Cox, R-85

Candidates for State Senate
Dennis Kruse, R-14
Liz Brown, R-15
Jim Banks, R-17
Travis Holdman, R-19

Candidates for U.S. Representative
Marlin Stutzman, R-3

Complete Responses

Click the candidate's name below to see their entire questionnaire, including a statement of their vision for the future of education in Indiana. NOTE: Only those candidates who returned a questionnaire are listed.

INDIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

INDIANA SENATE

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Justin Kuhnle, candidate for U.S. Representative Indiana District 3
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #183 – August 29, 2014

Dear Friends,

Can you come on September 6th to the ICPE meeting at 2pm in Indianapolis to support public education?

Can you come on September 6th to see the remarkable documentary “Rise Above the Mark”?

Can you come on September 6th for greetings and comments from State Superintendent Glenda Ritz before the documentary is shown, including updates on the approval of Indiana’s federal waiver by Secretary Duncan announced yesterday?

Can you come on September 6th to hear discussion of the documentary by a panel including West Lafayette Superintendent Rocky Killion who originated and produced the video?

Can you come a bit early on September 6th to greet Bob Dalton as we honor his 63 years of service to public education at a reception beginning at 12:45?

I hope you can! All who support public education are invited. There is no charge to see the video.


The Indiana Coalition for Public Education Fall Meetings


This is the first of five ICPE meetings around the state this fall. All will feature “Rise Above the Mark” followed by a panel discussion. Dr. Killion will join the panel at each site. The five dates are as follows:

Sept. 6, 2014.....Indianapolis.....Washington Township Education Center, 86th & Woodfield Crossing

Sept. 27, 2014.....Merrillville.....Merrillville High School Auditorium, 276 East 68th Place

Oct. 4, 2014.....Fort Wayne.....IPFW Rhinehart Recital Hall, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd

Oct. 18, 2014.....New Albany.....NAFC Education Support Center, 2801 Grant Line Road

Oct. 25, 2014.....Evansville.....Evansville Central High School Auditorium, 5400 First Avenue

All meetings begin at 2pm, local time. The reception for Dr. Dalton on September 6th begins at 12:45.

“Rise Above the Mark”, in its own words, was created “to educate the general public about the ‘corporate takeover’ of Indiana public schools and what parents, community members and educators can do to protect their local public schools.” It was originated by Dr. Killion after his inquiry into why many excellent teachers in West Lafayette were retiring early.

All parents, community members and educators should see this film!

Please circulate the attachment to let others know about this meeting.

An RSVP for September 6th is not necessary. Come and bring a friend! An RSVP, however, would be helpful at vic790@aol.com if you have not yet done so.

Please join us and bring your public education friends!

Thanks for participating! Please keep up your great support of public schools!

Best wishes for a great Labor Day weekend!

Vic Smith

“Vic’s Statehouse Notes” and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!

ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. The fall ICPE membership meeting in Indianapolis will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 2pm at the Washington Township Education Center on the corner of 86th and Woodfield Crossing. The video “Rise Above the Mark” will be featured at the meeting and Rocky Killion, the video’s producer, will be among the panelists to discuss the film afterward. Prior to the 2pm meeting, a reception will begin at 12:45 honoring Dr. Bob Dalton for his 63 years of enthusiastic service to public education. Come join us on Sept. 6th!

We need your membership to help pay the bills for ICPE lobbying efforts. Many have renewed their memberships already, and we thank you! If you have not done so since July 1, the start of our new membership year, we urge you to renew by going to our website.

We must raise additional funds for the 2015 session. We need additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!

Go to www.icpe2011.com for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!

Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #182 – August 25, 2014

Dear Friends,

“Rise Above the Mark” is a remarkable documentary showing, in its own words, “what happens when politics enters the classroom” and when “public schools are boxed in by current corporate reforms.” It was originated by Dr. Rocky Killion, Superintendent of West Lafayette Schools, after his inquiry into why many excellent teachers in West Lafayette were retiring early.

Five meetings of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education will feature “Rise Above the Mark” followed by a panel of responders. Dr. Killion will join the panel at each site. The dates are as follows:

Sept. 6, 2014.....Indianapolis.....Washington Township Education Center, 86th & Woodfield Crossing

Sept. 27, 2014
.....Merrillville.....Merrillville High School Auditorium, 276 East 68th Place

Oct. 4, 2014
.....Fort Wayne.....IPFW Rhinehart Recital Hall, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd

Oct. 18, 2014
.....New Albany.....NAFC Education Support Center, 2801 Grant Line Road

Oct. 25, 2014
.....Evansville.....Location TBA

All meetings begin at 2pm.

On Sept. 6th, a reception honoring Dr. Bob Dalton will precede the meeting from 12:45-1:45.

Please join us and bring your public education friends to one of these meetings!

The Indiana Coalition for Public Education Fall Meetings


Since its inception in 2011, ICPE has had fall membership meetings to bring together advocates for public education and to find new friends of public education. After single meetings in 2011 and 2012 at the Washington Township site, three meetings were held in 2013. Now the ICPE board of directors has set five meetings for this year.

We are convinced that there are hundreds and perhaps thousands who strongly support public education who have not yet heard of the work of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. We are out to change that! Please help us bring more people to the mission of supporting our public schools. Please help us get the word around to others about these five meetings and about ICPE.

September 6th Special Features

The September 6th meeting at the Dean Evans Center in Washington Township will have two features in addition to the showing and discussion of “Rise Above the Mark:”
  1. State Superintendent Glenda Ritz will bring greetings and updates as we begin the meeting at 2pm.
  2. Preceding the meeting from 12:45 to 1:45, a reception will be held honoring Dr. Bob Dalton and his 63 years of service and advocacy for public education, including his work as a founding board member of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education. Come a little early to the meeting and tell Dr. Dalton thanks for his many efforts on behalf of public school students, including his 18 years as Superintendent in Kokomo and his 11 years as Deputy State Superintendent under both Dr. Dean Evans and Dr. Suellen Reed!
I hope you can make plans now to see “Rise Above the Mark” at one of the ICPE fall meetings. You can RSVP with a quick return email to vic790@aol.com.

Thanks for participating! Please keep up your great support of public schools!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

“Vic’s Statehouse Notes” and ICPE received one of three Excellence in Media Awards presented by Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization of over 85,000 women educators in seventeen countries. The award was presented on July 30, 2014 during the Delta Kappa Gamma International Convention held in Indianapolis. Thank you Delta Kappa Gamma!

ICPE has worked since 2011 to promote public education in the Statehouse and oppose the privatization of schools. The fall ICPE membership meeting in Indianapolis will be held on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 2pm at the Washington Township Education Center on the corner of 86th and Woodfield Crossing. The video “Rise Above the Mark” will be featured at the meeting and Rocky Killion, the video’s producer, will be among the panelists to discuss the film afterward. Prior to the 2pm meeting, a reception will begin at 12:45 honoring Dr. Bob Dalton for his 63 years of enthusiastic service to public education. Come join us on Sept. 6th!

We need your membership to help pay the bills for ICPE lobbying efforts. Many have renewed their memberships already, and we thank you! If you have not done so since July 1, the start of our new membership year, we urge you to renew by going to our website.

We must raise additional funds for the 2015 session. We need additional members and additional donations. We need your help and the help of your colleagues who support public education! Please pass the word!

Go to www.icpe2011.com for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!

Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.
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