For those of you who were on break, we hope your first day back was a good one. Since the legislative session has been in full swing, many of us have been carefully watching what is happening and how it may affect ACSC. Unfortunately, the proposed K-12 budgets released by the House a couple of weeks ago and by the Senate (on March 30) are devastating to ACSC. Despite all the work of the Oriole Advocates and many of you telling our story of efficiency and need, both proposed budgets are more negative for ACSC than for most other Hendricks County and Hamilton County Schools. With less than three weeks left to go in this legislative session, we have one last chance to try to influence our future.
In a nutshell: the Senate Budget (unveiled last Thursday) increases per student funding to ACSC by a meager 0.5%. With inflation at 2.1%, we could not even keep our current level of programs/service. It goes without saying that without strong growth and funding that keeps pace with inflation, issues related to improved class sizes and innovation in programming will be in jeopardy.
Our funding did improve slightly in the Senate budget (compared to the earlier House budget) due to the inclusion of some teacher bonus pay. What bothers us more than anything is that the percent increase in per student funding in most Hamilton County Schools is as much as four times what ACSC would receive. We have expressed our concern about these discrepancies and no one has been able to adequately explain or defend them.
We are focused on the fact that neither the House nor Senate budget provides adequate funds per student for ACSC.
Senator Crane and Rep. Steuerwald are well aware of our concerns and have been great listeners. We have also met with Rep. Jeff Thompson who is a key player and represents a small portion of Avon . They may not be able to influence change as they are not directly involved in the powerful top echelon that will have the most influence on the budget, but they could vote against the budget in order to send a message. Sen. Crane will be voting as early as Wednesday and Rep. Steuerwald at some point in the future. We need to give them hundreds of reasons to vote against this budget and/or to try to influence more funds/student for ACSC in the final budget.
Please email or call and leave a message. Be respectful and constructive please.Sen. John Crane email@example.com – 800-382-9467Rep. Greg Steuerwald firstname.lastname@example.org – 800-382-9841Sen. Mishler email@example.com – 800-382-9467Sen. Kenley firstname.lastname@example.org – 800-382-9467
If you live elsewhere, even better. You can stand up for Avon with potentially powerful Senators and Representatives. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t know who they are or how to contact them. Lots of people don’t. We will be happy to identify them for you or go to https://iga.in.gov/legislative/
We are asking you for less than 5 minutes of your time –unless you can get 5 friends to help too!
We will keep you posted.
Message from the Oriole Advocates: PLEASE NOTE: Voting on the budget could take place as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, April 5), so please make your calls and send your emails today or early tomorrow. Even if you’re late, send them anyway. ALSO, avoid copy/paste. Make your message as personal as you can so that they know we mean it! Thank you for your help! Our kids are worth it!