Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Superintendents from all four public school districts in Allen County joined  Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Thursday to call for more funding for all districts in the  state. 

Districts across Indiana are facing budget problems – from the base amount every  district is afforded by the state, to the amount they’re allowed to collect from  property taxes, every Northeast Indiana superintendents agree – it’s not enough to  support their schools.   

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody says Republicans need to halt their partisan attacks on State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

There are multiple bills this session that shift power away from Glenda Ritz’s office to the GOP-controlled State Board of Education. 

That includes a proposal to allow the State Board to elect its own chair, a position currently filled automatically by the Superintendent. 

State Democratic Party Chair John Zody says the measures are an attempt to silence the 1.3 million Hoosiers who voted Ritz into office in 2012.

Indiana General Assembly

A new bill would require prospective elementary school teachers in Indiana to be able to identify dyslexia in their students. 

Research suggests dyslexia is among the most common learning disabilities, affecting ten to twenty percent of the population. The precise number is unknown since so many people go undiagnosed.

House Bill 1108 would require new elementary school teachers to be able to recognize learning disabilities that affect reading, including dyslexia.

Republican Representative Woody Burton authored the bill.

"No Child Left Behind" Changes Could Be on the Way

Jan 12, 2015

Change could be coming to the nation’s cornerstone education law, No Child Left Behind.

During a speech Monday, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called on Congress to rework the statute.

The law, signed by former President George W. Bush in 2002, originally meant what its name suggests: that no child should fail state tests in math, reading and science. It called for 100 percent of students to be proficient in those skills by 2014.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he wants the 2015 meeting of the General Assembly to be an “education session,” and the budget Pence proposed Thursday shares that focus.

The proposal contains a $200 million increase in K-12 school funding over the next two years. That includes about $41 million more specifically set aside for charter schools. 

Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins says that money would be used to increase per-pupil funding by $1,500 and would reduce inequity between funding of charters and traditional public schools.

Courtesy / Indiana GOP

Education promises to be a big topic during the upcoming legislative session. Both Governor Pence and House Republicans have outlined major school initiatives they’d like to see come to fruition next year. But what the state can afford remains to be seen.

Legislative leaders have pledged to balance the budget this session without raising taxes. That could prove challenging, since several state agencies have submitted requests that would require extra money.

Courtesy / Indiana University - Kokomo

Indiana’s legislative leaders are expressing concerns about the increasing number of out of state students at the state’s universities, which could affect state funding to those institutions.

Of Purdue’s undergraduate students, 44 percent are non-Indiana residents, and at IU-Bloomington, 43 percent of the current freshman class comprises out-of-state and international students.

This high number of out-of-state students could affect funding to such institutions, as legislators have expressed disappointment in these high numbers.

State of Indiana

Legislative leaders are split along party lines in their evaluations of Governor Mike Pence’s proposed changes to the state’s education hierarchy.

Governor Pence will eliminate the controversial Center for Education and Career Innovation, or CECI, which has been a thorn in the side of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz since its creation two years ago. 

But Pence also wants the General Assembly to allow the State Board of Education – made up of Pence appointees – to elect its own chair, a position held by Ritz. 

Pre-K Pilot Program Accepting Applications

Nov 19, 2014

Applications for On My Way Pre-K, the state’s pre-k pilot program, are now available for low-income families wishing to enroll their children. 

The applications are only available to families in Allen, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties,  where the program will launch in January. Applications for Jackson County families will be  available later. 

The application asks for basic information about the family including proof of address, number  of family members, and proof of income.

Schools' A-F Grades Show Improvement

Nov 5, 2014

Indiana students are at the top of their academic game. That’s one takeaway from the state’s A-F grades, which were released Wednesday at the monthly State Board of Education  meeting. 

Around 180 more schools received A’s this year under the state’s accountability system, making  the majority of Indiana schools an A school.  Fifty-one percent of schools in the state received As, 35 percent earned Bs and Cs and 10 percent fall  in the D and F zone.