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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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.

Continue Reading

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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