Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Lawmakers Weigh New School Coalition Pilot Program

Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) speaks in the Indiana House. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) speaks in the Indiana House. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

School coalitions could become a new feature of the state’s education system, as lawmakers consider another pilot program to better prepare students for life after high school.

The bill making its way through the general assembly would allow some school corporations to form a sort of mega think-tank, or coalition.

A big focus would be on offering more, better workplace learning programs, but would also include paths for students to earn higher education credits. A key piece of the bill says coalition school corporations would be allowed to waive some state requirements – including things like the amount of time students spend in certain classes – to make that happen.

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Bill To Allow Students To Carry Sunscreen Heads To Governor

One of the first bills headed to the governor's desk this session will allow Indiana students to easily carry and apply sunscreen at school. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

One of the first bills headed to the governor’s desk this session will allow Indiana students to easily carry and apply sunscreen at school. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

One of the first bills headed to the governor’s desk this session will allow Indiana students to easily carry and apply sunscreen at school.

That’s as some lawmakers grumble about why the bill was necessary.

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Holcomb Applauds BCSC School-To-Work Programs During Round Table

Four students talked about the benefits of local school-to-work programs, which give them hands-on experience in fields they’re interested in pursuing. The students say they’re especially helpful for those interested in engineering.

Holcomb says one of the most encouraging parts of the discussion was the fact that three out the four students participating were women.


Governor Eric Holcomb joined local and state officials in Columbus Friday as part of his efforts to improve workforce development. He participated in a round table discussion that included representatives from the Community Education Coalition and the Economic Opportunities Through Education Network.

Read more at: indianapublicmedia.org

Fort Wayne Team Headed To DC For Future Cities

This national competition is sponsored by Discover E – an organization committed to encouraging careers in the engineering fields.

Carol Dostal, the Director of Outreach for the College of Engineering, Technology, Computer Science at IPFW, and the Indiana coordinator for the Future Cities competition, said the benefit of the competition goes well beyond science and engineering.

“There is a strong liberal arts component to it,” Dostal said. “The students have to write an essay they have to do research, but then they have to present their city to a panel of judges.”

During that presentation time, the students have to defend what they’ve designed via a three-minute question-and-answer session.


In January, area middle schools headed to IPFW to via for the regional finals of the Future Cities Competition. The contest features tabletop models of future cities. If you spend any time with middle schoolers, it’s rare to hear these words.

Read more at: wboi.org

Public Comment On School Accountability Rules Kicks Off This Week

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

The State Board of Education will hear feedback on a recently approved school accountability proposal, during public hearings throughout Indiana, starting this week. Members approved a new school grading system plan proposal at their meeting in January. It met some pushback because it differs from the state’s federally approved education plan, and makes changes to the weight of student growth in school grades.

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Anderson School Closes For Two Days Because Of Flu

On Thursday and Friday, traditional classes for middle and high school aged students at Liberty Christian School will be cancelled. Pre-kindergarten through 6th graders will come to school as normal.

In messages to parents online, Liberty superintendent Jay McCurry says about 20 percent of the school’s about 500 students and 50 percent of teachers are out sick with the flu. He says the building will be sanitized while students are away.


A Christian school in Anderson is using the state’s e-learning option to close for two days this week because of the number of students and teachers sick with the flu. IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports. On Thursday and Friday, traditional classes for middle and high school aged students at L

Read more at: indianapublicradio.org

Program Gives Kids In Juvenile Detention Lesson In Legal Rights

Joel Wieneke is standing in front of a classroom at Logansport Juvenile Correctional Facility. Looking around, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this room and a public school classroom. There are posters on the wall that talk about overcoming hurdles, and bookshelves lining one wall.

But, the boys sitting in the desks all sport the same shaved heads and gray sweat suits.

“Anybody else have any thoughts about why I’m here?” Wieneke asks.

He’s talking to a group of boys who arrived here within the past week. They range in age from 12 to 17, and they aren’t feeling especially talkative today. Wieneke’s colleague passes out candy to encourage kids to participate in the discussion.

“Right now what we’re going to do is talk as a group, but you guys got to raise your hand if you want to talk to me,” Wieneke says. “We’re going to try and figure out what you guys know about the system you just went through, how it is that you came to the DOC.”


Some kids making their way through Indiana’s juvenile justice system are slipping through the cracks. They’re supposed to get a public defender to help with their cases, but that doesn’t always happen. So, some kids are ending up in the Department of Correction when they shouldn’t.

Read more at: indianapublicmedia.org

House Committee Hears Testimony On Sex Education Bill

Teachers in Indiana are expected to teach abstinence and are discouraged from teaching safe sex lessons. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

Teachers in Indiana are expected to teach abstinence and are discouraged from teaching safe sex lessons. (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

The House Education Committee heard testimony Thursday on a bill that would require schools to make sex education instructional materials available to parents and require parents to opt-in to instruction.

Monica Boyer, president of the Indiana Liberty Coalition, says the bill allows parents to protect their children from information about people who identify as transgender specifically or LGBTQ.

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