The House Education Committee approved a controversial sex education bill Tuesday, and some members say a few key changes could make them more receptive to the legislation.
Senate Bill 65 says schools can’t teach sex ed without the consent of parents – shifting the current opt-out system to an opt-in – but an amendment to the bill limits how many days a parent has to return a sex education consent form for their child. Rep. Vernon Smith (D-Gary) says he could support the bill as it heads to the full chamber, with a few more adjustments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.