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McCormick: Indiana Is A National Leader In School Safety, Room To Grow

Jennifer McCormick

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick discusses school safety, following a roundtable Tuesday. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The state department of education hosted a school safety roundtable Tuesday, with school safety specialists from across the country.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick says Indiana is already a national leader in school safety practices. But she also says there’s room for improvement.

“You know, it’s never enough. You know we spend $45 million on assessment here in the state, and $10 [million] in school safety,” McCormick says.

On Monday, lawmakers approved $5 million in additional school safety funding.

McCormick says Indiana law makes it possible for school districts to arm teachers, but she is personally opposed to it.

“The educators I’ve talked to, the students I’ve talked to, families and parents I’ve talked to – I haven’t found any to date that have said that’s a good idea,” McCormick says.

McCormick says two school districts in the state have explored the idea of allowing teachers to carry at school, but, to date, only one allows it.

McCormick also commented on the school financial takeover legislation passed during Monday’s special session. The bill makes changes to the state takeover of Gary Community Schools. It also allows Ball State to become the emergency manager for Muncie Community Schools.

She says the state Department of Education has concerns about academic accountability exemptions in the bill for Ball State. But she says she has confidence Ball State will make smart decisions to benefit students in Muncie.

“Just like we have Gary, who’s under a distress situation, we are there to support and guide Muncie – and now we will also be a good partner with Ball State,” McCormick says.

Ball State’s president has said in the past that the academic accountability exemptions will give the university flexibility for innovation in the school district.

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