Two intertwined things have recently occurred at the Statehouse which make me sad that I am a Hoosier.
First was the booing and shouting down of a Black legislator by several Republican lawmakers. If the booers would process what Rep. Smith was saying about allowing a majority white township school to leave the South Bend School Corporation, they could agree that it is a backdoor way to school segregation. I understand seeing Black legislators wearing traditional African garb to celebrate Black History month probably made some representatives feel uncomfortable. Living in Shelbyville for example, does not provide Rep. Eberhart with many opportunities to interact with Black persons.
However, through legislation, all legislators have a unique opportunity to improve relationships between Black and white citizens. Please, dig within your souls and listen to your Black colleagues – theirs is a voice that has been disregarded for way too long.
My second issue deals with recent House Bill 1005 which gives private schools one-third of the new money. Why, when 90% of Hoosier students go to public schools? I am particularly upset with my representative, Elizabeth Rowray, District 35, for not standing up for public schools. Indiana, through its voucher program, already gives more money to private schools than any other state including New York and California.
I miss Melanie Wright. She fought for public schools. Interestingly, the main legislators behind HB 1005 are either graduates of private schools or benefit financially from them.
Beckie Adams, Yorktown