Indiana Government Members Visit WCC

Tori Brandt, Editor

On February 9, Whitewater Landing at WCC hosted a Legislative breakfast for members of the community to voice their opinions and concerns for the future of education. The breakfast featured state senator Jeff Raatz, Senator, Jean Leising and House Member, Cindy Ziemke. Super Intendant, Scott Colins and many cooperation faculty members were also in attendance to express their concerns. A question and answer session was held after the Senators and Representative discussed the issues at hand.

Representative Ziemke
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Just like the coffee, many of the issues were piping hot, such as House Bill 1213. House Bill 1213 would grant protection for student journalists. There was not much discussion regarding the Bill, but Representative Ziemke made it clear that she is pushing for it to be passed through the House. For more information over House Bill 1213, visit https://connersvilleclarion.com/1239/uncategorized/new-voices/ .

A rising concern among faculty members included, staff pay, standardized testing and the effect it has on students, and bullying. Amanda Sleet, building president of American Federation of Teachers Union, expressed her concern of the same issues as well as board member, Ann Kershner.  

There were very few students in attendance. Clarion editors Abbi Stinger and Tori Brandt, as well as sophomore and senior Cohiscan editors, Hailey Elliott and Tisiolsa Patterson, were in attendance. Patterson spoke at the forum and shared her feelings as a student. As she spoke, Patterson told the room how students often do not feel as if they are part of the “big picture” and try to do their

Senator Raatz
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best to succeed but feel as if they are always falling short. “The event over-whelmed me before I even showed up,” Patterson stated. “I was nervous about who would be there and what they would say, but my overall experience was a positive one. I was able to speak my mind and be a voice for the voiceless.”

Leising, who is on the board of education committee, shared information over enrollment and funding in her

district. Leising’s district includes Fayette, Franklin, Rush, Sunman-Dearborn and Batesville counties. In Fayette County, eighty-seven students attend a private school, while 205 attend a school outside of Fayette county. Furthermore, twelve Fayette County students have chosen to attend a charter school, while seventy are homeschooled.

Senator Leising
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The rising concern is the growth in students choosing to enroll in online schooling. While the numbers are currently unavailable for just how many students in Leising’s district are enrolled in online school, the senator is mostly concerned with the reentry of online or homeschool attendees to the public school. Leising explored the idea of the speculated disconnect between how virtual and public schools teach their students and the way the information is processed by the pupils, making it troublesome for educators to place them in classes that match their learning levels. This disconnect is present in real world situations when students are asked to perform certain tasks by their educators; such as, group projects, tests and public speaking.