INDIANAPOLIS—On Friday, the Senate voted on the latest version of HB 1001 for the final time. State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph (D-East Chicago) released the following statement:

“This is a budget for the privileged,” Sen. Randolph said. “The expansion of vouchers will mean that wealthy families will be able to cover the cost of their kids’ private school tuition with state dollars. Make no mistake: this is absolutely at the expense of public schools. Public schools are only receiving about 70% of new education dollars to educate over 90% of students while vouchers receive a third of new money to educate less than 10% of Hoosier kids. The state of Indiana is essentially subsidizing the private school education of wealthy families. Charter schools will also be authorized to cut into property tax dollars in four counties, including Lake, which are currently collected only by traditional public schools. Traditional public schools are taking a double hit in this budget.

“As it relates to school funding for public schools, HB 1001 is reprehensible. With the provisions in this bill, it’s clear what the goal is: to destroy public schools period.”