Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Statehouse Protesters Object To More Rules For Gary And Muncie Schools

Senators Eddie Melton of Gary and Karen Tallian of Portage met today with a group from Gary that came by bus to the Statehouse to protest House Bill 1315.

They object to a bill provision that would turn Gary Community School Corporation’s school board into an advisory committee and limit how many times members can meet in an official capacity. Melton agrees, saying it’s unnecessary to add more restrictions to a district already in an emergency manager’s hands.

“The state is telling our local elected officials they can’t make decisions and they can’t hold meetings to update our community, taking away our voice and our vote.”

Democratic state senators from northern Indiana say a school finances bill that enforces more rules on the distressed Gary and Muncie districts will eliminate public participation in public school systems. Senators Eddie Melton of Gary and Karen Tallian of Portage met today with a group from Gary

Read more at: indianapublicradio.org

State Superintendent Urges Lawmakers To ‘Address School Safety’

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick penned a letter to state and U.S. lawmakers Wednesday, outlining the state’s current policies regarding school safety and urging action.

“These efforts must include passing policies which decrease risks, providing support for social and emotional programs to address mental and behavioral health, and approving budgets that increase resources,” McCormick writes. “My office is ready to collaborate and participate in any discussions that address the safety and well-being of Indiana students. School safety is a very complex issue and requires a multifaceted approach to solutions.”

Photo: Peter Balonon-Rosen (IPB News) Indiana’s top education leader is urging lawmakers to address school safety in the wake of a shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick penned a letter to state and U.S.

Read more at: indianapublicmedia.org

House Committee Makes Big Changes To Sex Ed Bill

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

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.

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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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