(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Supporters of public schools, many of whom are opponents of Indiana’s private school voucher program, rallied at the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday.
The Indiana Coalition for Public Education organized the rally attended by about 500 people, the Indianapolis Star reports.
A bi-partisan mix of state lawmakers spoke to the crowd. One Republican lawmaker, Rep. Randy Truitt (R-Lafayette), told the ralliers that the largest portion of the proposed state budget is allocated to public education.
The crowd was more responsive to comments by Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary), who called on majority Republicans to restore funding to education that was cut in the economic swoon of 2009.
“We should not give Republicans permission to destroy public education,” Smith said, according to the Star. “We must be about the business of saying, ‘restore the cuts you’ve made to public education.’ Public education is working.”
The Indiana School Choice Program, the nation’s largest publically-funded private school voucher system, was a target through much of the rally. A proposal to further expand the program is currently under consideration in the legislature.
Indiana PTA president Sharon Wise told the crowd that the proposed expansion was a "massive overstep" that would strip money from traditional public schools.