Former Pacer, Pence join school choice rally Monday

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people converged on the Statehouse today, demanding educational choice. The Statehouse was packed Monday afternoon for the Ed Rock Reform Rally.

Student groups from Gary, Anderson, Merrillville and Indianapolis made the trip to ask lawmakers for more options and more funding. Parents and students were promoting charter schools, online classes, home schooling and the school voucher program.

Organizers say they need quality teachers, empowered parents and effective schools and it should be offered to everyone.

Former Pacers star Jalen Rose spoke at the event, and explained why he's interested in the issue.

"We all know that certain districts get more money based on the per capita income of the people that lived there, and I don't think that's fair to the young men and women that have nothing to do with that,” says Rose.

Governor Pence also spoke at the rally. He says having school options available to all Hoosiers will cut down on high school drop out rates. He says, in the 2011/2012 school year 12 percent of students in the state dropped out.

“We know that we have made progress, but for the sake of our kids we are going to demand great schools in every community serving every child in the state of Indiana,” says Governor Pence.

Currently there is a School Choice bill will also offer a tax credit program and create a scholarship for preschool. The bill is in a senate committee after passing the house last month.

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