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Divert charter, voucher, virtual school funding back to public schools

On Nov. 19, many of our educators went to Indianapolis to voice their concerns about our public education system. Little did I fully understand their reasons. Our representatives said that they increased the funding amount for public schools in 2020 and 2021, 2.06% and 2.07%. This seemed good. Then, to my surprise, this is what I found out:

Charter schools — 10.3% funding increase for 2020; 10.47% funding increase for 2021

Voucher schools — 9.28% funding increase for 2020; 5.6% funding increase for 2021

Virtual schools — 5.25% funding increase for 2020; 9.14% increase for 2021

Public schools — 2.06% funding increase for 2020; 2.07% funding increase for 2021

It appears that public schools are not receiving the funding they need even though they have the greatest student population and are being set up to fail by being issued unfunded mandates. Some representation. Something is wrong with that.

Why should this concern us? First and foremost, education is the great equalizer. It allows the poorest to have a reasonable pathway to opportunity and success. It is in our public interest to promote the abilities of every individual, rich or poor.

The argument may be said, “We are providing better schooling through charter or virtual schools.” My response is, if those schools have such proven results, why not implement those features to all students in public schools and have charter, voucher and virtual schools meet the same requirements as you have placed on public schools?

Just think, if you took all the money you have diverted to those other schools back to the public schools, they would have the “funding for success” rather than just barely being able to hang on. A fair increase in public school funding could do wonders for our children’s education.

Let us show our support, love and respect for our children and their future by calling our representatives and demand that they support our public schools.

Sandy Gettelfinger | Corydon, Ind.