Indiana lawmakers are considering changes to a state law that currently requires public school districts to sell vacant buildings to charter operators for $1.
It’s one of the education stories we’re keeping an eye on in the coming week, as a bill amending those guidelines is headed for a vote in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.
We flagged this as an education issue to watch in the General Assembly this session back in January.
The new rules would require public schools to hold on to vacant schools for two years instead of the current four years — the amount of time a charter operator has to place a claim on the building. It also would create a waiver process letting public schools sell vacant buildings even sooner.
We have more stories we’re following below:
Coming Up Next Week
- Sunday, March 10: Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or “FAFSA,” is due by 11:59 p.m. If you’re applying, Indy Star has this handy guide to help you out.
- “Ed Reform Rocks!” rally at the statehouse. Several groups that support charter schools and the state’s voucher program — among other facets of Indiana’s recent education policy overhaul — organized the event, which starts at noon. (Another group, which alternately favors better support for the state’s public schools, will rally at the statehouse next week.) Monday, March 11: ESPN analyst and former Indiana Pacer Jalen Rose will keynote the
- Tuesday, March 12: Lake Ridge Schools will the first of three community forums at the district’s elementary schools “to garner information about which school should close,” writes the Post-Tribune.
- Wednesday, March 13: The Indiana Senate Education Committee meets, casting votes on the above-mentioned vacant school building sale bill, along with two other measures.
- Thursday, March 14: An organization representing homeschool parents will hold a reception at the statehouse. The Indiana Association of Home Educators will present “academic, social, organizational and testing displays” at its annual Legislative Day.
What We’re Working On
- We continue or Pre-K coverage with a trip to The Region — and a closer look at how sequestration will impact Indiana Head Start programs.
- We’re looking into changes to the GED exam that could make it tougher to earn the alternative high school diploma. By the way, those who write the GED test are making the changes to better align the credential with the Common Core. (That story coming soon.)
- On that note, we’re continuing our coverage of the new, nationally-crafted Common Core academic standards. Have a question about the new standards? Ask the education reporters. Send us an email, reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter or leave us a comment letting us know your Core Questions.