Rachel Morello comes to StateImpact by way of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She has worked for various news and education-related organizations across the country - but no matter the locale, you’re sure to find her sporting a Packers jersey and tuning into “Car Talk.” You can follow her on Twitter @morellomedia.
Governor Pence unveiled his budget recommendations for this session, with education as the main priority. “I can’t tell you how excited I am about what I sense is a real common purpose that has developed in the months leading up to this session,” Pence says. (Photo Credit: House GOP)
But, Statehouse Democrats say the governor’s budget proposal doesn’t tell a true story when it comes to increasing education funding.
Pence wants to increase K-12 funding by two percent in 2016 and one percent in 2017, which adds up to a $200 million increase over the two years. Pence’s plan would fund charter schools more than in the past, allocating an additional $1,500 per pupil for students in charter schools. Right now, each Indiana district receives a minimum of $4,280 per pupil, regardless of school type.
“In the category of funding, the first priority of this budget will be expanding opportunities for our youth in Indiana, from pre-k education to higher education,” Pence said Tuesday.
“To maintain our momentum and to implement new policies, we’ll also need to fix what’s broken in education in Indiana,” Pence said at a legislative conference late last year. “For education to work in our state, it has to work at the highest levels.”
State Board of Education members Brad Oliver (left), state superintendent Glenda Ritz, and Dr. David Freitas listen to presentations at the January board meeting. (Photo Credit: Rachel Morello/StateImpact Indiana)
Less than 0.5 percent of educators received “ineffective” ratings during the 2013-14 school year, according to data from the Indiana Department of Education. That’s about the same percentage as last year, which is confusing to some as the ratings are based on a relatively new evaluation system that many expected to be tougher. The fact that it has not done so could lead the Indiana State Board of Education to make student test scores a bigger factor in the evaluation system in the future.
In the second year of what was intended to be a tough new system of evaluating educators, the results were the same: hardly any were rated ineffective and nearly all were certified as doing their jobs effectively.
The program would essentially be a teacher innovation fund, giving the State Board of Education authority to grant schools waivers from some requirements in state regulations that guide teacher compensation. To qualify, school districts would be required to submit proposals showing how they plan to “innovate and refocus resources on the classroom.”
A group of Republican senators in Congress – specifically the leaders of the Senate and House education committees – want to spearhead an overhaul of the country’s main K-12 education law, No Child Left Behind. The effort will undoubtedly spark conversations about a number of politically contentious issues, including standardized testing and federal oversight in education.
Republicans are hatching an ambitious plan to rewrite No Child Left Behind next year – one that could end up dramatically rolling back the federal role in education and trigger national blowouts over standardized tests and teacher training. NCLB cleared Congress in 2002 with massive bipartisan support but has since become a political catastrophe:…
As we’ve mentioned, the Indiana General Assembly has promised to try to balance the budget in the upcoming 2015 legislative session without increasing taxes. But even after they ring in the new year, the subject of money will be impossible to ignore.
Funding is an issue at the heart of many of the programs and projects Indiana will see in place in 2015. (Photo Credit: Teddy James/Flickr)
We’ve already outlined a few education initiatives that the General Assembly hopes to fund this session. Now let’s take a look at exactly what it would take to move forward with those proposals, plus a few others.
Earlier this month, we told you about 80 private schools planning to return money to the state, following unintentional errors in calculating voucher costs. In a follow-up to that story, Stephanie Wang of The Indianapolis Star reports on who’s in charge of voucher funds – and concerns about mistakes as the program expands.
When private and parochial schools recently returned nearly $4 million in public money overcharged in state vouchers, school choice advocates lauded the self-policing efforts. But who is actually responsible for making sure such mistakes are caught? Who makes sure such errors won’t happen again?
This isn’t an unusual move – plenty of other states do it this way. In fact, the majority do.
Board members in thirty-six states plus Guam and the Northern Marianas elect their own chairs. Governors in eight other states appoint the board chair, and in Alabama the governor him- or herself serves as chair, according to the National Association of State Boards of Education.