LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appointed state senator Andy Zay is listening, but not to teachers

Everyday Hoosiers in Senate District 17 want an accessible, quality public-school education for their children and neighbors. Public schools are the anchor of our communities.

In a recent letter to the editor, appointed state senator Andy Zay (R-Huntington) begins by addressing teachers’ frustrations with the claim that he is listening. He may be “listening,” but his actions beg the question: To whom? Public school teachers suspect appointed state senator Zay is listening, but unfortunately, it is to the wrong people: the profiteering corporate school “reformers” and their lobbyists who are filling his campaign coffers.

Who was appointed Sen. Zay listening to when he introduced, fought for and promised to revive a bill to replace licensed public school teachers with unlicensed replacements? Certainly not public school teachers.

Who was appointed Sen. Zay listening to when he supported budget cuts of over $2 million dollars to the Huntington County Community Schools, a school district recently forced to close two rural schools? Certainly not public school teachers. Who was appointed Sen. Zay listening to when not one school in the entire district received the state average increase in school funding? Certainly not public school teachers.

Who was appointed Sen. Zay listening to when our public school teachers saw the greatest reduction in pay than any other state (17 percent according to the Indy Star)? Certainly not public school teachers.

In the 18 months since Sen. Zay was appointed, he has failed to recognize the real problem is his continued attempts to chip away at public education and public school teachers. His reckless tenure as a state senator has done nothing to support teachers or advance a quality education for all children who attend public schools.

We all know appointed Sen. Zay is a used car salesman. When it comes to education, he is trying to sell his constituents a lemon. It is time to make real lemonade and change leadership. It is time for Gary Snyder, someone who actually hears public teachers and isn’t in the pocket of the lobbyists and the profiteers.

— Gary Snyder, Democratic Nominee for Indiana State Senate District 17, Huntington

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