INDIANAPOLIS—Today, Senate Bill 327 passed out of the Indiana Senate. The legislation establishes a governing structure for the Gary Community School Corporation. Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) released the following statement:

“I’m thankful to Senator Mishler for his work on this legislation and for taking the time to speak with members of my community about this matter. I also want to thank the amazing people of Gary who have attended town halls to discuss our school system, traveled to the Statehouse at dawn to testify on bills and who have remained engaged for nearly eight years on this issue. Through countless discussions, I’ve had the opportunity to gauge what the people in my community want, and there’s an overwhelming consensus for the return of our school corporation to local control. There are plenty of intelligent and capable people in the Gary community to serve on our school board, and we would like to see people with a personal stake in our student’s academic success serving as school board members.

“I’m pleased that Sen. Mishler adopted some of my recommendations to ensure more Gary residents would be a part of the governing board for our schools, but I ultimately opposed the bill. While SB 327 does bring us closer to local control, it is still not what the people of Gary want at this time. The Gary Community is ready for stability, which includes leading our own district. That is what I’ll continue to fight for on behalf of our children, teachers, schools and my entire district. Right now, we’re approaching the halfway mark of session, and I’m hopeful that my colleagues in the House will get us even closer to a bill that reflects the desires of the community.”