GOP Lawmakers open floor to Fort Wayne residents

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Three GOP lawmakers met with area residents in Fort Wayne on Saturday. About 40 people showed up to the town hall to share their thoughts with Indiana state senator Liz Brown and Indiana state representatives Martin Carbaugh and Bob Morris.

“Their representatives and senator from the area do listen and we do enjoy meeting with our constituents,” Morris said.

A wide variety of issues were discussed, including the future of IPFW, pensions, road funding and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The hottest topic was education.

“We confirmed our beliefs that education is a top priority in the state and there are concerns about the testing,” Brown said.

Most of the conversation was dominated by the ISTEP test. Attendees like IPFW lecturer Ron Crosby were trying to understand what’s going on with it.

“I’m not sure that they understand the impact they’ve had and what they could do to fix things,” he said. “The fix would be really simple: just to untie the tests to the evaluation of a teacher and untie the test to the judgment of the schools.”

All three lawmakers stated they’re against the current version of the test.

State senator Liz Brown and state representatives Martin Carbaugh and Bob Morris listen to concerns
State representative Bob Morris (left), State senator Liz Brown and state representative Martin Carbaugh listen to people’s concerns

“We have heard their concerns,” Brown said. “I think that we are more hamstrung by the feds than some of them understand or appreciate.”

Brown wanted people to remember that the lawmakers are personally invested in the future of the test as well.

“We’re all parents, too,” she said. “My children are out of school, but they went through ISTEP testing and representative Carbaugh and representative Morris have children in school now and we all know it’s a burden on the school system.”

The town hall was close to two hours long. The lawmakers say they’ll take all the people’s concerns back to the statehouse.

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