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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

We just received the following press release from the Indiana General Assembly

Media Alert Indiana General Assembly Release

Representative Behning to Discuss School Vouchers

State Representative Robert Behning (R-Indianapolis) will be available to the Media on Tuesday, April 5, 2005 to discuss Senate Bill 281 concerning school vouchers.

The media availability will take place in room 125 at the Statehouse at 10:00 a.m. Representative Behning will be joined by Kenneth L. Johnson, a graduate of North Division High School and a native of Milwaukee. Kenneth L. Johnson serves on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, which oversees the city’s public school system. Johnson, a democrat and an AFL-CIO member, has been a major proponent for school choice in Milwaukee (He was elected in 1999 and reelected in 2003.)A graduate of North Division High School and a native of Milwaukee, Johnson is an officer of Isom Memorial CME Church, a husband, and proud father of a current MPS student. Johnson is a journeyman electrician and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. A former member of Shalom High School's Advisory Board, Johnson is also a Commissioner of the City of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority and a Fellow of The Rockefeller Foundation of New York.Johnson believes in improving parental involvement, in setting stronger standards, in strengthening school governance council authority, in expanding career options for students in elementary/middle schools, in increasing community investment & confidence, and in developing a district accountability system. The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program began operation in 1990-91 and currently serves nearly 15,000 children each year by providing school vouchers worth up to $5,882 per child. Being the oldest of the modern school choice programs, Milwaukee is the most widely studied school choice program. Studies from Harvard and Princeton Universities have found student test scores to improve by 6 to 11 percentile points in both math and reading. Studies have also found public schools exposed to competition from the school vouchers have spawned improvement in public school test scores as well. In addition, nearly $100 million of private money has been invested into education through the creation of new schools and renovation of older schools.

Who: Representative Behning Also appearing on the panel will be Kenneth L. Johnson
What: Press Conference to discuss Senate Bill 281When: Tuesday, April 5, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. until 10:30
Where: Indiana Statehouse – Lower Level, Room 125Contact: Christina Nash, 234-2993

NOTE: Here is an opposing view of the Milwaukee experiment

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