Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Sara Wittmeyer

Sara Wittmeyer is the News Bureau Chief for WFIU and WTIU. Sara has more than a decade of experience as a news reporter and previously served with KBIA at the University of Missouri, WNKU at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY, and at WCPO News in Cincinnati.

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Seven Oaks Classical Charter School To Open In Monroe Co.

Seven Oaks Classical School in Monroe County could open by August.

Seven Oaks Classical School in Monroe County could open by August. (photo credit: Seven Oaks Classical School)

Seven Oaks Charter School could open in Monroe County this August.

Seven Oaks has been trying for four years to get approval for its school. The state charter boarddenied the school’s request in 2014 and last year the school withdrew its application after state board staff recommended denial. 

The board of trustees of Grace College and Theological Seminary voted to authorize the charter at its meeting Jan. 13.

Grace College currently authorizes two other charter schools in the state: Smith Academy for Excellence in Fort Wayne and Dugger Union Community School in Dugger.

The work begins now for Seven Oaks to find a building and staff.

In a press release announcing the charter’s approval, the board stressed that Seven Oaks will not teach with a religious slant event though it is authorized by a Christian college.

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Indiana Will Pay For Pre-K, But Questions About Cost & Quality Remain

A student looks through a book about fruit and flowers at Busy Bees Academy, a public preschool in Columbus, Ind.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

A student looks through a book about fruit and flowers at Busy Bees Academy, a publicly-funded preschool in Columbus.

Walk through the halls of Busy Bees Academy, a publicly-funded preschool in Columbus, and director Cathne Holliday says you’ll notice something different

“Everyone has a stake in each child’s education,” she says.

Teachers here are charged with preparing each of the school’s 115 4-year-olds for kindergarten.

“We’re also just giving them a foundation for learning,” says Holliday.

Indiana used to be one of 10 states that didn’t provide any state dollars for preschool — and public programs like Busy Bees were the exception, not the rule. But that’s about to change as Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign legislation that creates a small-scale voucher-style pre-K program for low-income Hoosier kids. Continue Reading

Updated: Gov. Daniels Will Be Purdue University's Next President

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels could be the next president of Purdue University, according to a report from WISH-TV.

UPDATE, 3:15 p.m.: Gov. Mitch Daniels will be selected as Purdue University’s next president on Thursday, WFIU-FM/WTIU-TV has confirmed, citing a source close to the governor.

WISH-TV first broke the story Tuesday afternoon:

Purdue University officials plan to vote on a candidate for the school’s next president this week – and WISH-TV has learned Gov. Mitch Daniels is the candidate in question.

The Purdue Board of Trustees will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in Steward Center’s Loeb Playhouse to vote on a nominee to be the school’s 12th president. Several sources close to the proceedings tells WISH-TV that the nominee is Daniels. After the vote, the president-elect will be introduced, the school said in a news release.

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Why Indiana Still Doesn't Fund Preschool Programs

Sara Wittmeyer / WFIU

A craft project created by Pre-K students at Penny Lane West School in Bloomington.

A bill poised for passage in the Indiana General Assembly would provide $80 million to fully fund all-day kindergarten programs, which many educators consider a step forward.

Preschool programs are another story.

Even as the Pew Center on the States reports other states have doubled their investment in Pre-K programs over the past decade, Indiana’s one of only 11 states that don’t provide families any money for preschool.

Educators say a “convergence” of research confirms preschool’s importance. But lawmakers say it’s not a question of importance — it’s a question of preschool’s cost. Continue Reading

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