education

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.  

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.

Indiana education officials are trying to decide whether they should incorporate student test scores into teacher evaluations this year.

The U.S. Department of Education is allowing states to decide how test scores play into teacher performance ratings and many are opting to wait another year before making any final decisions.

In fact, many states are in a transition period when it comes to academic standards.

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.

Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

A new study from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is recommending significant changes for IPFW, including switching the university's governing body.

The IPFW Roles and Governance Study used focus groups, interviews with business leaders, and historical data to come up with five recommendations for change.

They include streamlining degree programs; strengthening ties to the business community; and transferring all governance of IPFW to Indiana University.

Brandon Smith

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education wants to help college students finish their degrees on  time, unveiling Monday its ’15 to Finish’ campaign. The initiative is a coordinated, statewide effort to inform students, parents, and advisors about  the importance of taking 15 credit hours per semester.

Only 30 percent of Hoosiers complete a bachelor’s degree on time. And an extra year of college costs an average of $50,000.

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