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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The five counties in Indiana’s preschool pilot program met face-to-face with state officials for the first time Wednesday as they prepare to begin implementation. Governor Mike Pence says four of the five are prepared to start their programs in January.
The U.S. Department of Education is awarding Fort Wayne Community schools more than $400,000 Thursday as part of a grant to improve school counseling programs. The district plans to use it to help its youngest learners.
The grant was given to 40 school districts across the country, and Fort Wayne was the only Indiana school district to receive one. Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista Stockman says the district will use the money to hire three new counselors that will serve at elementary schools in the district.