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Can Goodwill From Planning Session Carry Through Tomorrow’s State Board Meeting?

State Board of Education members David Freitas, left, talks to Dan Elsener during a strategic planning meeting Dec. 3.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

State Board of Education members David Freitas, left, talks to Dan Elsener during a strategic planning meeting Dec. 3.

“Do we all agree,” the education consultant leading the Indiana State Board of Education‘s strategic planning process asked Tuesday, “what path we’re on?”

It’s an interesting question, considering the week began with State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the Center for Education and Career Innovation hashing it out over the details of the group’s regular December business meeting. CECI spokesman Lou Ann Baker told StateImpact in an email the two sides had been unable to reach an agreement on the agenda in time to post it 48 hours before the meeting.

So Wednesday’s meeting will be what Ritz is calling an “orientation session” with representatives from the National Association of State Boards of Education on hand to mediate ongoing tensions between the Department of Education and Governor Mike Pence’s new education agency. It will still be open to the public, but board members won’t be able to take any action.

Ritz met privately with Pence last week to discuss her concerns about the CECI and agreed the board should bring in a representative from NASBE to help define standard operating procedure. The superintendent walked out of the board’s Nov. 13 meeting over what she called an “improper motion” brought by board member Brad Oliver. Continue Reading

Trib-Star: Cash-Strapped District Votes To Shutter Dugger’s Two Schools

Advocates for closing Union Junior-Senior High School and Dugger Elementary, left, sit on one side of the North Central High School gym during a Northeast School Corporation meeting on November 25. On the other side sit members of the Save Union High School group.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana (File)

Advocates for closing Union Junior-Senior High School and Dugger Elementary, left, sit on one side of the North Central High School gym during a Northeast School Corporation meeting on November 25. On the other side sit members of the Save Union High School group.

Barely a week after 700 bitterly-divided residents gathered to weigh in on a controversial reorganization plan, The Tribune-Star in Terre Haute reports the Northeast School Corporation board voted 3-2 on Monday night to close the two schools in the rural southwest Indiana town of Dugger.

Union Junior-Senior High School and Dugger Elementary will close at year’s end, writes Sue Loughlin:

The board met on Monday at North Central, with an estimated 500 people attending. The school district again had heightened security because of the emotion and volatility related to the controversial school closings.

Even before the board was finished with its series of motions, Union/Dugger supporters started leaving the meeting en masse, with some hurling angry comments at the board and those supporting reorganization… Continue Reading

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