|Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) gave the following comments after Governor Holcomb announced his agenda for the 2020 legislative session.
“Governor Holcomb’s goals for education in Indiana are nothing short of disappointing. He has vowed to continue kicking the can down the road on the issue of teacher salaries and have them wait until 2021 for any sort of answers, good or bad. He boasts of teacher pay raises ignoring that those raises were often due to local referendums, increasing taxes on Hoosiers because the governor didn’t act.
“Additionally, holding schools harmless from 2018-2019 ILEARN scores merely scratches the surface of the issues surrounding Indiana’s accountability system, without even addressing the problems in that system. We must hold schools harmless as well as decouple teacher evaluations from standardized test scores and ultimately restructure our accountability system for a long-term solution to this continuing issue that monopolizes our students’ time at the expense of learning.
“The governor announcing that he is going to cash fund capital projects in a non-budget year just shows that he could address teacher pay immediately if our educators were a priority of his. Statehouse Republicans have no reason not to address low teacher salaries this year. The persistent excuse that this is not a budget year is misleading and a way to deflect the public. This would not be the first time Indiana has made budget changes in a non-budget year.
“Over 16,000 Hoosier educators showed up to the Statehouse a few weeks ago to tell the governor and legislators how they feel about the state of education in Indiana. The lackluster agenda released today by Governor Holcomb proves he must have ignored their teacher voices, instead escaping the Statehouse to campaign in Florida.
“While unsurprising, I am once again disappointed that the governor’s agenda fails to address any of the Senate Democrats’ priorities for 2020, especially regarding Indiana’s last chance to stop gerrymandering before state maps are redrawn. Governor Holcomb has laid out no strong plan forward for our state or its citizens.”