Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Weekly Planner: Federal Government Stays Open, But Many Automatic Cuts Lock In

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

Head Start students at Eastview Elementary in Connersville listen to a story about dinsaurs.

The federal government won’t shut down on March 27 — that’s the good news.

But the continuing resolution the House approved Thursday locks in many of the education-related sequestration cuts for the duration of the fiscal year. From Ed Money Watch:

Policymakers opted not to restore funding to key programs like Title I grants for low-income children and IDEA Part B grants for special education. There are, however, a few exceptions.

Congress restored some funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, which the CR sets at $2.3 billion, about a $50 million increase from 2012 levels. And the bill continues funding without changes for both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and the Child Care Entitlement to States programs, each of which provides additional funding to states for child care and other subsidies.

Additionally, although the newly passed CR maintains the 5.1 percent funding cut applied to Head Start, the bill back-fills a $33.5 million portion of it. Most of that money will be dedicated to the re-competition process currently underway.

We’ll continue our coverage of automatic federal spending cuts next week with a continued look at the impact on Indiana Head Start programs.

Coming Up Next Week

  • Monday, March 25: Parents Across America and Parent Power are sponsoring a panel discussion, “The Policies and Politics in Indiana Public Education.” It’s at 6 p.m. at the Education/Social Work building on the IUPUI campus, 902 W. New York St. in Indianapolis. Speakers include Robert Helfenbein, Center for Urban and Multicultural Education; Alex Sage, Anne Waxingmoon and John Loflin.
  • Wednesday, March 27: The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to vote on two issues we’ve been tracking all session, including a proposal to expand the state’s voucher program that got a lengthy hearing earlier this week. One of the bill’s sponsors, House Education Committee Chairman Bob Behning, fielded several tough questions from Sen. Luke Kenley about whether making kindergarteners eligible for vouchers changes the original spirt of the program. The other bill up for a vote is the preschool pilot program. Even though there’s popular support for early childhood education, state superintendent Glenda Ritz asked lawmakers last week to fully fund kindergarten before tackling pre-K.
  • Wednesday, March 27: Indianapolis Public Schools is expected to take the first steps in hiring a new superintendent at a meeting of the Board of School Commissioners Student, Parent and Community Engagement Committee. The school board will discuss the timeline for hiring someone to replace Eugene White. It’s at 5:30 p.m. at the John Morton-Finney Center for Educational Services,120 E. Walnut St.
  • Wednesday, March 27: WFYI and Butler University are hosting a discussion about education in Finland. Parts of the film “The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World’s Most Surprising School System” will be shown. It’s at 6 p.m. at the Central Library, One Liberty Square, 40 E. St. Clair St. in Indianapolis.

What We’re Working On

  • We’ll take a look at Project Libertas, the school parents started after Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard closed The Project School last summer.
  • Our coverage of the new, nationally-crafted Common Core standards continues. 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.

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