Claire McInerny is a reporter/producer for WFIU/WTIU news. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.
[...] AFSCME’s bylaws prohibit members from contracting with another union under the AFLCIO umbrella for a year after disassociating with it, Steve Bolin the former union president said. Bolin contacted the Indiana State Teachers Association, which is not under the AFLCIO umbrella, and asked a representative to talk with the 3060 group, which represents 59 of the eligible 114 members.
Last month, Bolin said, the group voted in favor of associating with the teachers’ union beginning in 2015.
Then, “all hell broke loose,” Bolin said. “AFSCME has gone crazy on the (school) corporation, relieved me of my duties and taken over all of my duties.” Continue Reading →
A case over whether or not families should pay busing fees in Franklin Township has made its way all the way to the state Supreme Court.
The Indiana Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday in the case against Franklin Township schools’ decision to eliminate busing services and replace it with a private service, which parents had to pay for.
As we’ve reported, parents sued, it went through the court system, and is now in front of the five judge panel at the state Supreme Court.
Breakfast in the Classroom is a separate service from the federal free/reduced meal program. As their name suggests, students eat the meal together in their classroom, while the teacher takes attendance, collects homework or completes other morning tasks.
The program does not stay in districts long-term, but provides breakfast for one school year in a way to encourage students who qualify to get breakfast through the free/reduced meal program to do so.
The Walmart Foundation funds the program, and a variety of education organizations work with the organization. They include Food Research and Action Center, the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation, the National Education Association Health Information Network, and the School Nutrition Foundation. Continue Reading →
The pre-k pilot program will launch in four counties in January, a quick turnaround since counties found out about their selection in July.
After becoming law back in March, the state’s pre-k pilot, On My Way Pre-K, will soon become a reality. Four of the five counties are poised to launch in January, and applications for providers and families wanting to participate are now available.
The five counties selected to participate in the program weren’t announced until the end of July, leaving organizers in those counties five months to fundraise, select eligible providers and work on recruiting eligible children.
In the counties’ original applications, they outlined their short-term capacity for preschool students: how many spots are available, how many potential providers, possible sources of fundraising, etc. So not to say they started the process from scratch back in July, but five months before launch means things have moved quickly in many places. Continue Reading →
Applications for the pre-k pilot program are available to families.
Applications for On My Way Pre-K, the state’s pre-k pilot program, are now available for low-income families wishing to enroll their children.
The applications are only available to families in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties, where the program will launch in January. Applications for Jackson County families will be available later.
The application asks for basic information about the family including proof of address, number of family members, and proof of income. To be eligible for the program, families must earn an income falling below 127 percent of the poverty line – around 30,000 dollars a year for a family of four.
Children must turn four by the time they enroll in pre-k classes in August. If there are more applicants than spots available at participating preschool programs, applicants will be selected through a lottery.
Brittany McKee helps her sons Gage and Jayce Meza complete the craft as part of the parent engagement night at Edgewood Primary School in Ellettsville.
Indiana is in the midst of a transition year when it comes to education: new academic standards, an ISTEP+ test that is not yet written and a new pre-k pilot program launching in four counties in January. All of these changes create challenges for kids ages three to 18 – but despite the differences of each area, there is one thing everyone says will help solve the issues at hand: family engagement.
Family Engagement In Action
On a recent weeknight at Edgewood Primary School in Ellettsville, parents and grandparents stream into the lunchroom with their kindergarten through second grade children. Tonight’s event is a literacy-based craft night, and students are signing up for which teacher they want to read them a book. Teachers will read to the children, showcasing techniques they use in the classroom parents can replicate at home.
Jill Ferguson oversees family engagement for Richland-Bean Blossom schools and gives instructions to families before they scatter to different classrooms for the reading activities.
Indiana's 2013 college graduates have an average debt of $28,466, the 16th highest in the country.
Indiana’s 2013 college graduates left school with an average of $28,466, according to a report released Thursday by the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success.
That makes Indiana the state with the 16th highest amount of average student debt, the same ranking from the graduating class of 2012.
The annual report looks at cumulative debt of college graduates from four year universities. The report looked at graduates of both public and private universities and found 69 percent of graduates nationwide have some amount of student debt.
One thing to note about Indiana’s student debt statistics is the 2013 average amount, $28,466, is slightly higher than 2012 graduates who left school with an average of $27,866. While the amount of debt is higher, the percent of students carrying the debt is down to 62 percent from 64 percent in 2012. Meaning less students are leaving college with debt, but those who do have more of it.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute was singled out in the report as one of the private non-profit universities with some of the highest debt. The report did not cite specific numbers but it ranked Rose-Hulman in a category of schools with average student debts between $41,750 and $71,350.
Generally speaking, the release of A-F grades this year brought good news; the amount of schools receiving A’s went up while the number of F’s handed out was the lowest in the last few years. This good news continues for schools on the Department of Education’s focus and priority schools list.
First, a primer on how a school gets on the priority list and how they can be removed from it:
The 2013 list of priority schools contained 174 schools. Following the criteria above, 16 schools will be removed from the priority list this year, and 34 schools could be removed from the list next year if they earn a C or B. Continue Reading →
More As, fewer Fs. That’s the biggest takeaway from the release of school A-F grades, and a trend we’ve seen the last few years. More than half (51 percent) of the state’s schools are now A schools, the highest number in the last few years.
With a new assessment and a new way to calculate A-F grades on the way, next years scores are expected to drop across the board. Right now, the State Board of Education and Department of Education have not established either entity.
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