To the editor:

This is an open letter to Indiana taxpayers and the Legislature.

I have proudly been involved in public education for over 30 years. Unfortunately, public education remains under attack.

Did you know:

Indiana spends $100 million each year on testing — source, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, August 2017.

90% of Indiana students attend public schools — source, Indiana Department of Education (IDOE).

LaGrange County (Westview, Prairie Heights and Lakeland) lost $800,000 in 2017-2018 to vouchers.

2,000 Indiana virtual charter school students never earned a single high school credit in 2018 — source Chalkbeat Indiana.

94% of school districts cannot fill open positions due to lack of applications — source, WFYI Indy Oct 2017.

So what can the public do?

Attend the presentation by Dr. Phil Downs, Indiana’s superintendent of the Year, at Lakeland Junior/Senior High School on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. His presentation is titled: “Follow the Money: An Analysis of Why Public Education is Not Keeping Pace.”

Wear red on Wednesdays to show your support for public education with other public education supporters throughout Indiana.

Contact your local state senators and state representatives to let them know public education is important and needs proper funding.

I would also like to encourage our current state senators and representatives to visit your local public schools. We truly are accomplishing amazing things each and every day with our students!

Rachel Stroop

Lakeland Education Association co-president

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