By Doug Martin
You would think with many more Hoosiers finding out each and every day about the complete scam known as Indiana school reform, the legislators in Indianapolis would be smart enough to give it a rest. But no, instead of doing damage control on the eve of the release of my book Hoosier School Heist—which spills the beans on the out-of-state money, the handing over of charter schools to campaign donors and friends, the plagiarism at the State Board of Education, school vouchers and torture, felonies, the breaking of Open Door Laws, and other scandals and outright corruption—Bob Behning and Republicans in the Indiana legislature now want to turn our children’s private information over to Mike Pence’s corporate-theocratic State Board of Education and his undemocratic Center for Education and Career Innovation which runs it.Pence and Republicans want the state board and its CECI school privatizing department to oversee a new student data system, and the House Education Committee will hear HB1320 on Monday at 8:30 concerning the issue. If passed into law, HB1320 will probably hand another $3.7 million of our tax dollars to a private company which will sell off personal and confidential information of students and families to companies out to market their products and agenda to them.
This new move is not a new one. In fact, HB1320 was probably inspired by a model bill drafted for various states by the American Legislative Exchange Council, the corporate sponsored bill-mill behind the scenes in Indiana and across the country bringing us school privatization, attacks on the postal service and unions, and the infamous Stand Your Ground Law. ALEC and Indiana Republicans know that parents across the country are very upset about student data being handed to private companies, and ALEC’s model bill is a ruse to appear that something is being done about privacy, when in fact, it does the exact opposite. It is common knowledge that a good many of Indiana Republicans are not educated enough to write their own legislative measures, and that ALEC helps run the Indiana government.Speaking of the student data system agenda, Class Size Matters’ Leonie Haimson recently wrote: “The huge number of well-funded private interests eager to pirate your child's data or enable others to do so is a many headed hydra which seems to grow new heads every time another is chopped off.”
In Haimson’s state, New York, Class Size Matters helped brief attorneys for parents to file a “court injunction to stop the New York state education department from moving forward with a partnership with inBloom Inc.,” Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch’s data-collecting company. Murdoch’s Wireless Generation funded Tony Bennett’s campaign and has profited handsomely in so-called school reform in Indiana, and Wireless Gen. is behind inBloom, too.Essentially, Pence and Republicans know that Glenda Ritz is opposed to private companies stealing the personal data of students and Hoosier families, so in order to maneuver around this roadblock, Pence and crew want to take away Ritz’s power to oversee the data.
It is time for the people to take action now:
EMAIL THE COMMITTEE DISCUSSING THIS BILL ON MONDAY
Rep. Robert Behning, Chairman (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, Vice Chr. (email: email@example.com )
Rep, Vernon Smith, Ranking Minority Member (email: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Rep. Lloyd Arnold (email: email@example.com )
Rep. Kreg Battles (firstname.lastname@example.org)Rep. Woody Burton (email@example.com )
Rep. Ed Clere (firstname.lastname@example.org)Rep Dale DeVon (email@example.com )
Rep. Sue Errington (firstname.lastname@example.org )Rep. Todd Huston (email@example.com )
Rep. Jim Lucas (firstname.lastname@example.org )Rep. Jeffrey Thompson (email@example.com )
Rep Shelli VanDenburgh ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
The House Switchboard phone number is 1-800-382-9842. Please call first thing Monday morning and let these people know we have had enough.