Gov. Mike Pence’s education agenda for the upcoming legislative session draws mixed reviews from a local school administrator who is looking to the General Assembly for meaningful reform. North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson agrees with some of the things the governor is suggesting, such as accountability that takes into account student growth.
The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation has lost millions of dollars due over the past several years due to a combination of state funding cuts, declining enrollment and unfunded mandates. During a Tuesday night public forum, Johnson said the legislature needs to increase the amount of money it pays corporations per enrolled student. That’s also among the items on Pence’s agenda.
Another part of Pence’s proposals is bonuses for teachers who are deemed effective or highly effective. Johnson notes they would be disbursed in the form of grants and paid to teachers as one-time stipends rather than increases in base pay. Johnson says unless base pay is increased teaching will become a transitional profession.
During this week’s meeting Johnson encouraged members of the North Judson-San Pierre School community to contact state Sen. Ed Charbonneau and Rep. Doug Gutwein and to sign a petition in support of the financial reform necessary to help corporations like N.J.-S.P. Information about how to do so and the PowerPoint presentation from that meeting are posted at http://www.njsp.k12.in.us/the-fight-for-public-education.html. WKVI will air Tuesday’s presentation as a special two-part “Kankakee Valley Viewpoints” show on Sunday, Dec. 7 and 14 at noon.