MUNCIE – Anybody who believed legislation to allow Ball State University to take over Muncie's school system was universally embraced would have been proven wrong Saturday afternoon.
Opponents filled the auditorium at City Hall and lined up to speak against the bill during a town hall meeting lasting more than two hours.
The City Hall Auditorium was at capacity and during those two hours, no one spoke in favor of House Bill 1315.
However, it should be noted the opposition to the bill did not carry over to Ball State itself, with the university being praised for its willingness to help Muncie Schools.
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Rather, complaints from the three Democratic lawmakers representing Delaware County – Reps. Sue Errington, Melanie Wright and state Sen. Tim Lanane, plus Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler and the public – focused on the loss of an elected school board and the possible loss of teacher bargaining rights. About one-third of the room was filled with teachers, who were asked to stand during a portion of the meeting.
Jason Donati, a Muncie school board member who organized the town hall, said at the end of the meeting that Republican state Sen. Doug Eckerty's office was contacted and he was invited to attend, but he did not hear back from Eckerty's office. Eckerty said on the Senate floor last week there was no turmoil in Muncie regarding this bill.