Daniels urges education improvements; He says he wouldn't rule out corporal punishment
By James Wentsits, South Bend Tribune Political Writer
South Bend Tribune, June 11, 2004

SOUTH BEND -- Republican gubernatorial nominee Mitch Daniels said here Thursday that "we don't have a minute to waste" in improving education in the state.

He called for more experimentation, such as year-round classes, and said he would also support having more charter schools as part of the effort to improve education.

He also indicated he is of two minds when it comes to the need for corporal punishment in schools, saying he is "not prepared to say it's never acceptable."

Daniels explained that although he doesn't want kids to be mistreated, he also has sympathy for teachers. "No one can learn much if the classroom is in an uproar."

Daniels brought his campaign to South Bend for the first time since being nominated at the Republican state convention in Indianapolis earlier this week.

He stopped at CJ's Pub, a popular downtown restaurant, where he was met by a throng of supporters and party officials.

He passed out copies of his "road map" brochure, which, he said, contains "86 different ideas" for improving Indiana.

The candidate said he believes the state's "potential is so much greater than our performance."

According to Daniels, the state needs to be more friendly to small businesses by making it simpler, cheaper and quicker to go into business.

The candidate contended that Hoosiers are concerned about the loss of the state's young people, particularly college graduates, to other states.

He said there is also concern that Indiana workers earn an average of 88 percent of the national average, or 88 cents on the dollar. "It used to be over a dollar 25 years ago," he said.

"There is a clear understanding by Hoosiers that things are not as they should be, that we should be doing better," Daniels contended.

The candidate said the Thursday visit was his ninth trip to St. Joseph County.

During the convention, Daniels received an endorsement from primary election opponent Eric Miller, who said he believes Daniels will commit himself to supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions.

Daniels said Thursday that he would support such an amendment and that the items Miller mentioned have also been part of his own campaign.

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