Education activists from both political parties are trying to save public education in Indiana.
They created a Facebook page called “Parents & Educators against the Daniels and Bennett Education Reforms.” It presently has 6,000 followers but expects that number to grow as more people learn about it.
Remember that it was a bipartisan group of voters who turned out corporate reform leader Tony Bennett, who subsequently resigned as superintendent in Florida in the wake of a grade-fixing scandal in Indiana on his watch.
An administrator of the Facebook page sent this message:
Dear Diane,
We have an amazing opportunity in Indiana to dispose of one of our biggest threats to Public Education in our Primary Election in May.
Representative Bob Behning, Chairman of the House Education Committee and former ALEC State Chairman, has a challenger!
We know that you are aware of the damage Behning has caused Public Education in our state, as you have written about him in your posts.
We are asking for your help in deposing him in May.
A Republican named Michael S. Scott ran against Behning in the Primary in 2012, and, while he obviously did not unseat Behning, he had a respectable showing.
Mr. Scott has now thrown his hat into this May’s election. In Indiana, a voter has to declare a party before voting in the Primary.
If we can convince a number of Democrats to declare “Republican,” they will be given the Republican ballot and vote for Scott and against Behning.
There are really no “down sides” for a Democrat voter to do this. In the November General Election, no distinction is made. They can vote for all the Democrats that they want to—even vote straight ticket, if they want. They may have difficulty running for office, in the future, as a Democrat and they will not be asked to work the polls for the Democrat party. These two problems affect almost no one.
The “Up sides” are: *We can send the clearest/loudest message of Hoosier support for Public Schools since Glenda Ritz’s victory over Tony Bennett to our Governor and Lawmakers ; *We can force Behning to spend his campaign funds (largely donated by corporate reformers) on a Primary, thus.. *Demonstrating to these corporate reformers that their money is wasted on Hoosier candidates. Diane, we need your help in making these points to Democrats. As you have long known, the fight to preserve Public Education has to be directed at both parties, as both have elements within who seek to destroy our schools.
That word is getting across in Indiana.
What we need now is for someone with your knowledge, your credibility, and your influence to help all understand that THIS CAUSE IS BIGGER AND MORE IMPORTANT than party affiliation and longtime habits. Many Republicans began to understand that concept when they crossed-over and voted for Glenda Ritz in the 2012 General Election. It may be a little more difficult to convince Democrats to declare “I am a Republican” in the primary so that they can vote for Scott! (It should be added here that there appears to be no Democrat vs. Democrat race in District 91, at any level. So, Democrats would not miss an opportunity to select a candidate for their party by declaring “Republican.”)
We respectfully ask your help. Please vote to support public education in Indiana!