The November 2014 elections may be the most important election in the history of public education in America.

If you did not see the wonderful editorial, in Sunday’s edition of the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette by Tony Lux, who recently retired as the Superintendent of Merrillville, Indiana Public Schools take a moment and check it out at http://www.jg.net/article/20141012/EDIT05/310119950/1144/EDIT05

Never before has there been so much at stake for our public school teachers and other educators who devote their hearts and souls for the benefit of our nation’s children. Teachers and parents everywhere need to draw upon the election of Glenda Ritz for inspiration. Thanks to the ardent support of teachers and parents, the voters of the State of Indiana rejected the policies of former State Superintendent Tony Bennett and elected award winning teacher, Glenda Ritz to this important office.

Superintendent Ritz garnered more votes than Indiana Governor Mike Pence who, like his predecessor Mitch Daniels, has gone to great lengths to destroy public education and the vital connections between our public schools and the communities they serve.

Voters in Indiana and in states across the nation are encourage to reject candidates who support privatization of education, charter schools, vouchers, the reliance on standardized testing as a measure of teacher and school performance, Common Core, and the other “cars” that make up the “Runaway Train of Misguided Educational Reforms” that have been sweeping the nation.

This is one time when party allegiance must not matter as we pull the curtains and exercise our constitutional right to vote.

Beware of candidates who claim that education is at the top of their priority list but go on to advocate “choice” as if they are protecting the rights of American parents. In the United States of America, parents already have the right to choose a school for their children. Candidates who are advocates of “choice” are really talking about the use of our tax dollars to subsidize with vouchers those parents who want their child to attend charter, private, or parochial schools.

This practice drains critical tax dollars away from our public school corporations on which the overwhelming majority of American children depend. These candidates for public office blame teachers and their schools for all of the problems in education and make no provisions to help the public schools that are left to deal with our nation’s most vulnerable children. What these candidates really support are what I call “the politics of abandonment” and they must be rejected.

Whether you are voting for candidates for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, your state legislature, or local school boards take the time to find out where these candidates stand on the issues of public education, not “tax-payer subsidized privatization” of education in America.

The one thing we learned in Indiana is that teachers and parents have the power to reject all those who threaten the future of our nation’s young people. All we have to do is go to the polls and ask our friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers to do the same.

Never before have we had an opportunity to make such a monumental difference on behalf of our nation’s children!

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