Pharos-Tribune

Local News

November 20, 2012

Legislative leaders outline issues

Long, Bosma predict review of education reforms.

INDIANAPOLIS — Republican legislative leaders stung by the defeat of the state schools superintendent say Indiana lawmakers may take a closer look at how some of the sweeping education reforms in K-12 schools have been implemented.

At a legislative preview luncheon sponsored by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, both House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long  repeated their earlier pledges not to roll back the GOP-backed reforms that are locked into law.

But both opened the door for more discussion — and possible changes — to how some of those education-overhaul laws, including teacher assessments and the A-to-F grading of schools, have been put into practice.

The trigger: The Nov. 6 upset election of Democrat Glenda Ritz, fueled by the fury of teachers impacted by the reforms, over the Republican superintendent of public instruction, Tony Bennett.

“The election of Glenda Ritz gives us an opportunity to have that discussion in a different format,” Bosma said.

“I’m surrounded by teachers on all fronts,” he added, after counting off the number of the teachers in his family. “They have taken it on the chin.”

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, an Anderson Democrat, said Ritz’s election was a signal from voters: “They were basically saying, ‘Slow down and let’s take a look at what we’re doing.’”

In their respective positions, Bosma and Long presided over the GOP-controlled legislature that pushed through the major education laws that, among other things, created vouchers for private schools, tied teacher pay to student test scores, and expanded high-stakes testing for students.

Neither backed off his support for those laws. But both sounded more conciliatory than they and other GOP leaders had the day after Ritz was elected; at the time, Republicans claimed their legislative wins were affirmation that voters endorsed the reforms.

During Monday’s Chamber luncheon in which legislative leaders weighed in on the 2013 session that begins in January, Long described teachers as heroic. He also said they needed to be paid more for the work they do, and he agreed with Bosma that teachers were feeling demoralized in the wake of the reforms.

Long also described Ritz’s low-budget, high-impact campaign against Bennett as “game-changing” in the way it used social media to tap into teachers and their supporters. Ritz, a political newcomer, got more votes in her race than Republican Gov.-elect Mike Pence got in his.

“When you see someone outspent 10-to-1 win, it’s an eye opener,” Long said.

“I’m not in any way pulling back my support for any of the education reforms, …” Long added. “But they will evolve and everyone at the table will participate.”

On other issues, both Long and Bosma repeated their doubts about a campaign promise by Pence to cut the state’s income tax rate by 10 percent.

They said the legislature in the last session already moved to reduce taxes, by phasing out the inheritance tax and reducing Indiana’s corporate taxes.

“We’ve already done tax reform,” said Long. Echoed Bosma: “David is setting the right tone.”

Both men cautioned about an uncertain economy that could impact the state’s current surplus by reducing revenues from the state’s sales tax. They also noted that gaming revenues from the state’s casinos were on a steady downward decline, and face more pressure as neighboring states open more gambling venues.

Bosma said the state had already made necessary budget cuts and still had financial obligations to keep.

“We absolutely will live within our means,” Bosma said. “That’s the key. The fiscal fog is thick.”

Bosma and Long later told reporters that Pence did not consult with them before unveiling the tax-cut pledge. Pence, in a press conference the day after his election, said the tax cut remained his top priority.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072414 shrek2.jpg Cast of believers: Children take stage this weekend As almost 50 children and teenagers crowded around the edge of the stage at McHale Performing Arts Center, Dan McDonald counted off: one, two, three... “I believe!”It was the start of tech rehearsal for Junior Civic Theater’s production of “Shrek: Th

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Higher expenses hurt new farmers The rising cost of farming expenses is making it tougher for young farmers to get into agriculture, according to a national census. The Census of Agriculture released its 2012 data in May, which gave information on the scope of American farming.The s

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam [Duplicate] Who should fix the Peru dams? PERU -- Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land? It's a question with a lot riding on it -- more than $1.5 million,

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCCF issues grant deadline reminder The Cass County Community Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals for the previously announced pool of $93,000, according to a press release from the foundation.The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Non-profit, 501(c)(3)

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT072314 Delphi Play2.jpg 'Under the sea': Delphi children ready for musical DELPHI — Young actors and actresses will tell the story of a young mermaid dreaming about being human in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” this weekend.The Stargazers Children’s Theatre, a program through Delphi’s public library, is presenting the mu

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS-PT072314 Matthew Shuey mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Police: Peru man punched officer in the face PERU — A 51-year-old Peru man was arrested after flipping off a police officer and punching him in the nose.According to court documents released Tuesday, Peru Officer Matthew Feller was on patrol Friday when he observed Matt Shuey lean out his car w

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Indiana’s overthrown gay marriage ban are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the state’s appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.Those representing gay

    July 23, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 22, 2014

  • One dead, one seriously injured in crash on Division Road

    A Logansport man was killed and another was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Division Road.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition