(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – Bob Bischoff is focusing on education as he seeks re-election to Indiana’s House of Representatives.
Bob Bischoff (left) faces Jud McMillin for a
second time in the November race for
Indiana District 68 Representative.
A 32-year veteran representing House District 68, Bischoff (D-Greendale) faces Franklin County attorney Jud McMillin (R) on the Nov. 2 ballot. Less than 500 votes separated the two when Bischoff won the 2008 election.
Bischoff is criticizing what he calls a top down, Indianapolis-centered approach to education reform taking place in Indiana. This week, he unveiled his own proposal to improve the state education system.
“We need to refocus reforms to rely on local community input in educating our children,” Bischoff said in a release detailing his plan. “The administration needs to support these local decisions by backing up on the State’s promise to adequately fund schools after the 2008 takeover of almost all K-12 education funding.”
The Democrat’s plan centers around three ideas: make education funding a top priority in the 2011 state budget, more dollars in the classroom to prevent crowded classrooms, and more accountability for teachers and administrators.
Bischoff, taking a shot at Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels decision in late 2009 to reduce 2010 school funding, wants the Indiana General Assembly to decide and provide adequate funding for school districts around the state before lawmakers pass any other bills spending tax dollars.
“Many Hoosiers still wonder whether the $300 million from our local schools was truly a last resort,” Bischoff said. “Passing an education budget first, will ensure we make education our top priority and adequately fund it before other programs.”
Capping class sizes would improve Hoosier students’ performance. Bischoff pointed to a National Center on Education Statistics study in 2008 putting Indiana at 40th in the nation in student-to-teacher ratio.
“The Governor’s cuts to education are forcing teacher layoffs and growing our class sizes,” Bischoff said. “I’ve met with teachers and parents across the districts and there is universal agreement that we must work toward reducing class sizes to improve classroom performance. Even the State’s Department of Education states on its website that smaller class sizes are a major factor in improving student achievement.”
More accountability for teachers and administrators would also help schools perform better.
“The top down approach to education reform coming from Indianapolis isn’t working,” Bischoff said. “Our small towns and local communities have always been the decision makers about how to best educate our children, and this local control has served Hoosiers well for decades. We cannot make decisions on education reform without input from students, parents, teachers, and administrators.”