By David Denson
Dr. Woody Myers, in seeking the office of Governor for the state of Indiana, is hoping to do something unprecedented in an election year that has brought an unprecedented turn of events.
COVID-19 has made the regular method of campaigning difficult resulting in both political parties holding virtual state conventions earlier this summer. Despite many of the inconveniences Myers has encountered, he says if given the opportunity to share his plan it will resonate with the voters. “The country is experiencing something that it has never experienced in our lifetime. The leadership in Washington has been absent and leadership in the statehouse has been absent. Someone with my experience can offer a great deal to the conversation,” said Myers.
Myers, the former Health Commissioner in the administrations of Robert Orr and Evan Bayh, if successful come November, would be the first African American to be elected Governor and the second physician to hold the position.
Campaigning on a platform of health care, jobs and education, Myers believes that he has what is needed to put the state back on track in those key areas, “Unless we regain our way quickly, the differences between us are going to continue to enlarge.”
Earlier this week the Myers campaign released its K-12 Education Plan. Among the things the plan seeks to address is returning public funds back to public schools and putting a hold on vouchers.
Myers also calls for a pause on new charter schools to create a level playing field and improve accountability standards. “We’ve spent millions of dollars on some of the charter schools and that didn’t work. We are diverting money for vouchers to someone’s favorite charter school and that isn’t working. There are some outstanding public schools and there are some outstanding charter schools—and there are some that are not. The question is how do we level the playing field.”
Myers continued: “That’s why I’m calling for a new state board of education to rewrite the rules in a way that is fair.”
The plan supports funding for more school nurses, social workers and counselors. It also supports improvement measures to assess technology and broadband services in homes. The plan also calls for working with the State Board of Education to ensure the Indiana Academic Standards include culturally sensitive material and appropriate career readiness training. It also calls for an end to the school-to-prison pipeline to ensure that age and developmentally appropriate approaches to school disciplinary practices and youth justice practices are fair and that they address prioritizing improvements.
“The Holcomb Administration and Statehouse Republicans are ignoring the reality of our public education system and are actively working against it,” said Myers. “Accountability and transparency are hallmarks of good governance. Linda Lawson and I will bring these qualities back to state government, starting with education.”
Myers has tapped former State Representative Linda Lawson to be his running mate. Lawson represented the 1st House District from 1998 until her retirement in 2018. Lawson was also the first woman to serve as Minority Leader of the Democratic Caucus.
“We will put people over politics by stopping arbitrary testing, adding in accountability and pressing pause on new charter schools,” said Lt. Governor candidate Lawson.