As a member of the Indiana state legislature, Indianapolis’s Mary Ann Sullivan wants education policy to score high.
Elected in November 2008 to represent Indiana’s 97th District, which encompasses downtown and the near south side of Indianapolis, Rep. Sullivan survived a fiery first session for the State House and worked to get funding for education in a tumultuous 2009 budget debate.
So how does she grade the state’s education funding? Sullivan would like to have seen more state funds go toward all schools, doing the best Indiana can even with current state revenues. “It’s difficult to judge how well we’ve done on (education) until we get through the next few years,” she says.
Sullivan acknowledges it was a difficult session for the freshman class. Even though nothing is normal in state politics, she says it was reassuring to have so many veteran legislators tell her they’ve never been through a session like that.
Throughout her professional career Sullivan has worked for several education and child-based organizations including: the Christel DeHaan Family Foundation, Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and Indianapolis Public Schools. She says having grandchildren for the first time strengthened her concern for future generations and played a major role in her decision to run for the seat.
Along with her work as a state representative, Sullivan works as a consultant with the University of Indianapolis Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning which works to evaluate the state’s system for funding the K-12 education and toward educational innovation.