Editor, Times-Union:

With due respect to Mr. Wolkins, it's been raining in Indiana for quite some time now.

The "rainy day fund,” as he calls a surplus of tax dollars that has been hoarded for years, is supposed to be used. Taxpayers count on it to fix roads, equip and employ our first responders and educate our children.

We applaud the state's efforts to try and play catch up with an infusion of investments to our education system, but we are in this predicament precisely because of individuals like Mr. Wolkins.

And – it’s not just this surplus – $85 million or more have been siphoned from our children from online charter school scams. All under Mr. Wolkins’ watch. I'm sure our teachers would have loved that money for supplies, for meals, for raises - for them to help make ends meet in their own homes.

And the predators raiding our taxes haven't even been stopped! The people responsible are back at it again! (https://chalkbeat.org/posts/in/2020/02/25/they-worked-forcompanies-accused-in-the-indiana-virtual-school-fraud-now-they-run-a-new-onlineprogram/)

Indiana ranks 51st, yes, we are behind a U.S. Territory, when it comes to teacher pay increases. (https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/ct-pt-red-for-ed-actionday-st-1120-20191119-2sfjiw6jrrcabmyqtklomzjlx4-story.html)

We’re confused by Mr. Wolkins’ insinuation that education policy was solely a “party line” vote as both HB1002 and HB 1003 (the two most pressing education bills) had bipartisan co-authors. And where was Mr. Wolkins for the vote on for the final version of HB1003 (roll call 380) or for roll calls 65 and 66 on the amendments that he demonized in his letter? According to the official vote sheets, he was not present.

It seems by his own actions, rather than his own words, Mr. Wolkins is more interested in "sticking it" to teachers and educators who had no other choice but to leave the one place they love - schools - with committed voices 15,000 strong in order to gain everyone's attention. Mr. Wolkins, you forced that choice on teachers.

You are a former educator, Mr. Wolkins; we are shocked you would speak so poorly of paying teachers what they earn.

It's raining now, Mr. Wolkins, and you helped with the downpour.

Kosciusko County Democrats

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