Indiana's GOP leaders want school changes

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The two Republicans set to run both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly said Wednesday they agree on the need to change public schools so they can train students better to compete globally and create jobs in the state.

Rep. Brian Bosma of Indianapolis, who's due to become the new Indiana House speaker, and returning Senate President Pro Tem David Long of Fort Wayne said that task and writing a new state budget without raising taxes will be easier now that their party controls both chambers and the governor's office.

Indiana Republicans won at least 58 of 100 state House seats Tuesday and led in one of two undecided races. Senate Republicans strengthened their majority and now hold 37 of 50 seats, giving them the power to conduct business without any Democrats present.

Bosma, who will have the strongest House majority since a 58-seat GOP edge in 1995-96, said he would use that advantage to help the state adopt a balanced, two-year state budget without raising taxes and to create jobs and aggressively improve schools.

The school plan that House Republicans presented during the campaign calls for giving parents more options in choosing schools for their children, holding teachers accountable for the performance of their students, and putting more education dollars in classrooms rather than administration and overhead.

"It's a tough agenda," Bosma said, but one that's needed to overhaul an education system that he said is holding Indiana back and turn it into one of the finest in the nation.

Long, speaking separately, agreed with Bosma that better schools were critical to creating jobs and improving the state's economy.

"We all feel we have to do a better job of educating our children because that is the key not only to their future, but to the future health of this state as well. They have to be able to fill the jobs that we want to bring here. They need to be able to compete globally," Long said.

That task is complicated by the budget cutting Gov. Mitch Daniels has ordered to keep the state's books balanced. He's cut spending by hundreds of millions of dollars, including $300 million from public schools and $150 million from higher education.

Bosma and Long said they hoped their Republican majorities and the backing of Daniels would allow them to pass laws that had been blocked in a House controlled by Democrats the past four years. Those measures include changes in redistricting law to follow U.S. Supreme Court guidelines, getting a ban on same-sex marriage written into the state constitution, and streamlining local government.

Bosma's selection as the new House speaker won't become official until the Legislature's organization day on Nov. 16. Once lawmakers return in January, the two GOP-controlled chambers will take up a new state budget amid continued declines in tax revenues and redraw the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts.

Despite House Democrats' loss of at least 10 seats and possibly as many as 12, the caucus selected outgoing Speaker Patrick Bauer of South Bend to remain their leader.

Bauer said he knew it would be a bad year because so much of voters' attention was focused on national issues such as the health care overhaul and the performance of President Barack Obama.

"Our races are supposed to be local. We had great local issues and great local candidates, but our Republican colleagues had a national wind at their back," Bauer said.

Bauer said Democrats have held as few as 27 seats during his legislative tenure.

"We've been down before, and we've come back," he said.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.