School violence in Florida last month has sparked a wildfire of activism around school safety, and school administrators across the state are working to prepare for student protests planned this month and next.
On March 14, students across the country will join a nationwide school walkout, scheduled for a total of 17 minutes. Each of those minutes represents a victim of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.
Saturday’s public meeting was organized by Muncie Community Schools board member Jason Donati – the only member not to speak publicly in support of House Bill 1315 and Ball State’s plan to run Muncie Community Schools. And those in the audience felt similarly. In the two hours of public comment, no community member spoke in full support of the bill.
The audience was made up of parents of MCS students, like Ann Polk and Phil Boltz.
“Never in my wildest dreams professionally, as a parent, or as a community member have I felt so small and powerless,” says Polk.
“This is about using the opportunity of the Muncie Schools’ funding crisis to float a test balloon for school takeover in Indiana and in the United States,” says Boltz.
Indiana lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a bill in conference committee Monday that would let Ball State University run schools in Muncie. And after a weekend community forum, they know more about how Muncie feels about the details of that plan. As IPR’s Tony Sandleben reports, those feelings ran
The emergency management team at MCS says those high school students that voluntarily walk out at 10:00 AM will head to the football field to hear speakers talk about gun violence and the law.
Some school districts across the country have threatened to punish students with disciplinary action if they participate in such events. That has led many universities to reassure students applying for college that their admissions teams won’t hold that action against the applicant.
Officials at Muncie Community Schools say the district will support students who choose to participate in a national walkout next week. Wednesday’s coordinated national action includes a 17-minute walkout to honor the 17 people killed in a school shooting in Florida last month. The emergency m
As lawmakers close in on the end of the legislative session, they’re working to finalize a bill that would address the state’s school funding gap. The school funding shortfall for this fiscal year is estimated at more than $22 million.
Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) meets with supporters of her dyslexia bill after a hearing in the House. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)
Advocates for dyslexia awareness say not enough teachers know how to identify and help students with the learning disability early on, but a bill the General Assembly approved this week aims to change that.
House Bill 1315 is a bill that, as its Senate sponsor put it, will help schools from becoming “distressed” like corporations in Muncie and Gary. But it also adds new rules to the state takeovers of those two districts. In Muncie, it would turn over the local schools to Ball State University. It would replace the elected school board with one appointed largely by Ball State. And it has no specified end date.
The Senate has approved a school financials bill that would, in part, let Ball State University run Muncie Community Schools. Senate discussion saw Delaware County’s two senators disagree on the first-of-its-kind plan in Indiana. Now, IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports on what happens next.
The State Department of Education’s most recent update reveals the state has awarded more than $150 million in vouchers this year. The program allows students to use state money to pay for tuition at non-public schools.
But growth has slowed for the past two years. The increase in participation for the 2017 and 2016 school years, landed around 4 and 5 percent, respectively. That’s compared to a 12 percent increase in participation in 2015.
A spokesperson for the State Department of Education says the agency doesn’t keep information to help identify why growth has slowed.
This year does mark a record high for the number of students using vouchers who have never attended public school in Indiana, and more students are using state special education funds to access services through private schools.
Applications for choice scholarships for the 2018-19 school year close Sep. 1.
Paige and her Mom Keri Moore, testify in the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on House Bill 1420. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)
Another possible change to education law in Indiana addresses a unique need for some students with disabilities; one piece of a bill moving through the general assembly would allow private school students to attend the Indiana School for the Deaf.
Students with disabilities in non-pulbic schools have something called Individualized Service Plans, or ISPs, and public school students with disabilities have something similar, called Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs. The Indiana School for the Deaf only accepts IEPs.