Updated August 9, 2022
Facebook post at Brown County Matters
Aug 9, 2022. Part 1.2022 School Referendum – Political Aspect. I found it interesting that the Brown County School leadership chose to take political action in 2021 that can be perceived as supporting a progressive left perspective in opposing Indiana’s education policies. These policies provide parents with choices that include Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) and Vouchers.
Despite their opposition, the budget bill (2021) containing the school voucher language and ESAs overwhelmingly and with bipartisan support, passed the House 96-2 and the Senate 46-3. The budget bill also reportedly provided more funding for schools and teacher pay. Note that over 50% of the state’s general fund is dedicated to schools and the majority of schools in Indiana have not relied on a referendum.
Brown County Voters n i2016 supported a referendum and may support it again. Why take on a policy with strong support by those with conservative and religious values? Republicans have super majorities in State government. In Brown County, Donald Trump received over 63% of the vote in 2016 and 2020. The school superintendent has identified that she “ will form a political action committee to educate and campaign in the community.”
In Part 2, I will provide additional context regarding the national influences affecting local educational policies and practices. I have also submitted formal requests for additional information (RFIs) from the School and the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) regarding the referendum. This process can take up to 60 days.