US Secretary Of Education Arne Duncan told Lakeshore Public Broadcasting’s Steve Walsh that he disagrees with efforts in Indiana to expand school voucher options in the state. Duncan argues the state needs to emphasize strong public school options including high quality charter schools, rather than subsidizing private schools.
“On the school vouchers question, the governor and I have absolutely agreed to disagree on that issue,” Duncan told Walsh Thursday.
A law the Indiana State General Assembly passed last year allows charter school operators to pick up unused school property for $1 and charter schools operators have not been shy about hunting these schools down.
Blue dots represent schools which have closed in the last 4 years. Red markers indicate schools available to charter schools for $1.
Source: Indiana Department of Education
Emily Pelino heads a number of Knowledge Is Power Program or KIPP charters in Indianapolis. She says her company is looking to update the school’s existing building arrangement and further increase its presence in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana. Continue Reading
Who cares about right to work? Let’s talk about the important issues like single class basketball tournaments.
New Harmony School was opened more than 200 years ago as part of an experiment to create a utopian community. At the center of that experiment was the idea that quality education is part of happiness. In some ways, that grand test has finally ended. Following a 30 percent cut in state funding, one of Indiana’s oldest districts will cease operation by the end of the school year.
In the politics of education, the most talked about group of people is often the least listened too. To remedy this situation, StateImpact turned to Bloomington South High School journalist Eleanore Fuqua to find out what students are thinking about about the current legislative session. Here’s her guest post:
Two summers ago, politics and state legislation made a blip on the radar of many high school students in Indiana. News of drastic cuts in education funds reached Bloomington, threatening both the teachers and programs we held so dear. Within our school system alone, $5.8 million was set to be sliced away from the annual budget, manifesting itself in the form of 75 lost jobs, reduced extra-curriculars (including sports), and a spike in class size.
Indiana Department of Education documents show nearly 146 traditional public schools have closed in Indiana over the last four years. We’ve mapped the fate of as many of those buildings as we could. Some are now churches, some are now charter school, some sit vacant gathering dust waiting for a new purpose. Many of these school were victims of a recent round of state budget cuts. Some were the victims of declining enrollment. Under an new law passed during the last legislative session, any of these buildings that hit the marketplace could be targets for charter school operators. These groups and individuals are able to purchase or lease these properties for $1.
Take a look at our interactive map and click on the markers to see the fate of closed schools in your area. Continue Reading
Is the threat of another Democratic walkout looming before the session has even fully started?
Last year was a hard hitting year in Indiana education policy and while right to work has dominated headlines, this year’s lineup of bills promises at least a few fireworks. StateImpact scoured through legislation waiting to be discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. We bring you three education related Senate bills guaranteed to spark debate or at least a little discussion.
Cursive Writing- Senate Bill 0083
This has been a big water cooler story for StateImpact over the last few months. Earlier this year, the Indiana Department of Education eliminated cursive handwriting as a mandatory course requirement for schools. This move came in response to an effort to bring Indiana curriculums into line with federal Common Core standards.