Indiana Coalition for
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ICPE REPORT CARD 2016

 

The ICPE Report Card rated incumbents who filed for reelection in 2016, grading them based on their votes on five bills that either expanded private school vouchers, increased tax credits for the Indiana Scholarship Granting Organizations giving taxpayer money to students in private schools, or otherwise damaged public education.

 

The ICPE Report Card was created by the Indiana Coalition of Public Education (ICPE), a bi-partisan non-profit organization that supports public schools.

 

In all, ICPE issued grades to 107 legislators. Thirty-one members of the Indiana General Assembly earned A’s, and 50 earned F’s in a report card evaluating their support for Indiana’s public schools.

 

“When you weaken public schools by diverting funding away from them, you undermine a key institution in our society -- one that stands as the bedrock of democracy and the cornerstone of local communities,” said Vic Smith, Board Member of ICPE. “There were many bills affecting education in the 2015 and 2016 state legislative sessions. You could rate legislators on a variety of public education issues depending on the ones you consider to be most important – whether it was testing or teacher shortages or education policy. Since ICPE primarily focuses on issues relating to privatizing public schools, we based our report card on bills that diverted taxpayers’ money away from public schools and sent it to private institutions or damaged public control of education.”

 

“Although legislators might claim it’s unfair to assign letter grades based on a small portion of what they do,” said Smith, “that is exactly what Indiana does to schools across the state when it bases schools’ letter grades on one standardized test.

 

“We urge voters who value public education to use the information in this legislative report card as they decide how to vote in November. If you do not know which legislative district you live in, you can find that information at IndianaVoters.com.”

 

Bipartisan Support for Public Education

 

“We are glad to see that public education has friends on both sides of the aisle,” said Smith. “Public schools need bipartisan support, and we’d like to see more of it in the Indiana General Assembly. The future of over one million students depends on it.”

 

Three legislators were given a grade of incomplete because they did not vote on enough of the five bills to earn a ranking; one was appointed to serve out a vacancy, and the other two had excused absences due to illness.

 

The five bills used in the grade evaluation were:

 

Senate Bill 1 (2015) removed from the public the power to elect the chair of the State Board of Education, a power voters had held since 1908.

 

House Bill 1001 (2015), the budget bill that raised K-8 voucher payments by $7 million and lifted taxpayer support of tax credit SGO scholarships for private school tuition by $3 million.

 

House Bill 1638 (2015) doubled down on high stakes testing, allowing schools with F grades to be taken over by the state more quickly, potentially placing them in the hands of private, for-profit operators, a strategy that has not succeeded thus far.

 

Senate Bill 334 (2016) expanded voucher enrollment to spring semester.  Full votes were taken in both House and Senate, but it was then amended into HB 1005.

 

House Bill 1005 (2016) expanded voucher enrollment to spring semester. It was amended to include SB 334, which avoided a conference committee hearing.

 

Vouchers now divert over $131 million from public schools to private schools annually.  This has resulted in a fiscal cost to Indiana taxpayers of an extra $53 million each year, according to state financial reports.

 

Despite the original premise for Indiana’s voucher program to let families change schools, over half of all vouchers (52%) now go to students who never attended public schools and have always attended private schools.  This fact is the basis for the extra fiscal costs.

 

For more information about the Indiana Coalition for Public Education, visit icpe2011.com.

 


 

Indiana Coalition for Public Education

2016 Public Education Report Card

Candidates for Indiana Senate

Dist.

Name and Party

Grade

2

Sen. Lonnie M. Randolph-D

A

5

Sen. Ed Charbonneau-R

F

7

Sen. Brandt Hershman-R

F

9

Sen. Ryan Mishler-R

F

10

  Rep. David L. Niezgodski-D

A

13

Sen. C. Susan Glick-R

C

16

Sen. David C. Long-R

F

18

Sen. Randall Head-R

B

20

Sen. Luke Kenley-R

D

28

Sen. Michael R. Crider-R

F

33

Sen. Greg Taylor-D

B

34

Sen. Jean Breaux-D

A

35

Sen. R. Michael Young-R

D

37

Sen. Rodric D. Bray-R

F

40

Sen. Mark Stoops-D

A

42

Sen. Jean Leising-R

B

44

Rep. Eric A. Koch-R

B

50

Sen. Vaneta Becker-R

A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two candidates for Senate were members of the House in the 2015 and 2016 sessions.


 

Indiana Coalition for Public Education

2016 Public Education Report Card

Indiana House

Dist.

Name & Party

Grade

1

Rep. Linda Lawson-D

A

3

Rep. Charlie Brown-D

A

4

Rep. Ed Soliday-R

F

5

Rep. Dale DeVon-R

F

6

Rep. B. Patrick Bauer-D

A

8

Rep. Ryan Dvorak-D

A

9

Rep. Scott Pelath-D

A

10

Rep. Charles Moseley-D

A

11

Rep. Michael J. Aylesworth-R

D

12

Rep. William I. Fine-R

F

13

Rep. Sharon Negele-R

D

14

Rep. Vernon G. Smith-D

A

15

Rep. Hal Slager-R

F

16

Rep. Douglas L. Gutwein-R

F

18

Rep. David A. Wolkins-R*

Incomplete

19

Rep. Julie Olthoff-R

F

21

Rep. Timothy Wesco-R

F

22

Rep. Curt Nisly-R

D

23

Rep. William C. Friend-R

F

24

Rep. Donna Schaibley-R

F

25

Rep. Donald J. Lehe-R

F

27

Rep. Sheila Klinker-D

A

28

Rep. Jeffrey A. Thompson-R

F

29

Rep. Kathy Kreag Richardson-R

F

30

Rep. Mike Karickhoff-R

F

31

Rep. Kevin A. Mahan-R

C

32

Rep. Anthony J. Cook-R

C

33

Rep. Greg Beumer-R

D

34

Rep. Sue E. Errington-D

A

35

Rep. Melanie Wright-D

A

36

Rep. Terri Jo Austin-D

A

37

Rep. Todd Huston-R

F


 

Indiana Coalition for Public Education

2016 Public Education Report Card

Indiana House

Dist.

Name & Party

Grade

38

Rep. Heath VanNatter-R

F

39

Rep. Jerry Torr-R

F

40

Rep. Gregory E. Steuerwald-R

F

41

Rep. Tim Brown-R

F

42

Rep. Alan Morrison-R

F

43

Rep. Clyde Kersey-D

A

44

Rep. James Baird-R

F

45

Rep. Bruce Borders-R

F

46

Rep. Bob Heaton-R

F

48

Rep. Doug Miller-R

F

49

Rep. Wes Culver-R

F

50

Rep. Daniel J. Leonard-R

F

51

Rep. Dennis J. Zent-R

F

52

Rep. Ben Smaltz-R

F

53

Rep. Robert W. Cherry-R

Incomplete

54

Rep. Thomas E. Saunders-R

D

55

Rep. Cindy Meyer Ziemke-R

F

56

Rep. Richard Hamm-R

F

57

Rep. Sean R. Eberhart-R

D

58

Rep. Woody Burton-R

F

59

Rep. Milo Smith-R

F

60

Rep. Peggy Mayfield-R

F

61

Rep. Matt Pierce-D

A

62

Rep. Jeff Ellington-R*

Incomplete

63

Rep. Mike Braun-R

D

64

Rep. Thomas W. Washburne-R

C

66

Rep. Terry Goodin-D

A

67

Rep. Randy Frye-R

D

69

Rep. Jim Lucas-R

F

 


 

Indiana Coalition for Public Education

2016 Public Education Report Card

Indiana House

Dist.

Name & Party

Grade

71

Rep. Steven R. Stemler-D

A

72

Rep. Edward D. Clere-R

F

73

Rep. Steven Davisson-R

D

74

Rep. Lloyd Arnold-R

B

75

Rep. Ron Bacon-R

F

76

Rep. Wendy McNamara-R

D

78

Rep. Holli Sullivan-R

F

79

Rep. Matthew S. Lehman-R

F

80

Rep. Phil GiaQuinta-D

A

81

Rep. Martin Carbaugh-R

F

82

Rep. David L. Ober-R

F

83

Rep. Christopher N. Judy-R

D

84

Rep. Bob Morris-R

F

86

Rep. Edward O. Delaney-D

A

87

Rep. Christina Hale-D

A

88

Rep. Brian C. Bosma-R

F

89

Rep. Cindy Meyer Kirchhofer-R

D

90

Rep. Mike Speedy-R

F

91

Rep. Robert W. Behning-R

F

92

Rep. Karlee D. Macer-D

A

93

Rep. David N. Frizzell-R

F

94

Rep. Cherrish S. Pryor-D

A

95

Rep. John L. Bartlett-D

A

96

Rep. Gregory A. Porter-D

A

97

Rep. Justin Moed-D

A

98

Rep. Robin Shackleford-D

A

99

Rep. Vanessa J. Summers-D

A

100

Rep. Dan Forestal-D

A

*Incomplete grade due to low number of votes (partial term or illness)

 


Methodology for assigning grades:

A vote of “no” on each of the five bills used in this report card was considered a vote in support of public education. Grades were assigned on the number of “no” votes on the following scale:

 

If a legislator voted on all five bills

If a legislator voted on four of the five bills

A =

4-5 no votes

4 no votes

B =

3 no votes

3 no votes

C =

2 no votes

2 no votes

D =

1 no votes

1 no votes

F =

0 no votes

0 no votes


For a printable copy of this report, click here.

For background on how legislators voted on each of the bills, click here.