Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons

The House Thursday approved a preschool pilot program after it was seemingly left for dead just two weeks ago.

Speaker Brian Bosma says creation of the pre-k pilot wouldn’t have been possible without a funding mechanism crafted by the Senate.  The program can use up to $10 million in existing funds from the Family and Social Services Administration, while at least ten percent and up to 50 percent of that in matching funds must come from private sources. 

State Adopts New Social Studies Standards

Mar 13, 2014

State education officials approved new social studies expectations for Indiana schools Wednesday. The standards are very similar to ones the state has been using since 2007.

State Board member Cari Whicker wanted to know what the proposed changes would mean in her sixth grade history class.

State education officials are considering new academic standards to replace the Common Core in Indiana schools. But acquiring textbooks aligned to state-specific standards could be a challenge.

According to a report from the Office of Management and Budget, a majority of Indiana school districts have already shelled out for new textbooks and curriculum aligned to Common Core. But new research suggests textbooks boasting alignment to the nationally-crafted standards may not conform to the new expectations after all.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Surrounded by children at a pre-kindergarten program on the east side of Indianapolis Wednesday, Governor Pence emphasized the need for Indiana to begin providing preschool opportunities for low-income Hoosiers.  He says “the time is now” for the legislature to reinstate a pre-k pilot program.

The Senate Education Committee gutted a bill last week that would have provided vouchers for one thousand low-income children in five counties to attend preschool. They replaced it with a study committee on the issue. 

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Senate Republicans Monday rejected an attempt to revive a preschool pilot program that had been eliminated in a Senate committee last week.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for 1,000 low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool.  But the Senate Education Committee gutted the bill, replacing the pilot program with a study committee that will examine specific issues with pre-Kindergarten education. 

South Bend Democratic Senator John Broden wants to add the pilot program back into the bill.

A pilot program aimed at providing pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for low-income Hoosier  kids was stripped out of a bill in a Senate committee Wednesday. The program – a major initiative of Governor Mike Pence – was replaced with a  mandated study of the issue.

Proposed legislation passed overwhelmingly by the House created a framework for a preschool pilot  program. It would have served about a thousand four-year-olds in five counties, with funding to kick  in next year.

A panel of state lawmakers is considering a proposal that would bar Indiana from returning to the nationally-crafted Common Core at the end of a year-long review. Instead, the bill would require Indiana-specific standards.

This is the third year Indianapolis Republican Senator Scott Schneider has filed anti-Common Core legislation. Last year he got lawmakers to agree to a year-long review of the nationally-crafted standards Indiana adopted in 2010.

Now Schneider wants to make absolutely certain state education officials don’t return to the Common Core.

Number of Students Receiving Vouchers Jumps Again

Jan 27, 2014

Fewer students receiving vouchers are spending time in public school before making the switch to private school, according to a report released Monday by the Indiana Department of Education.

That’s because state lawmakers voted last year to make more students eligible for vouchers.

More than 19,000 Indiana students received vouchers to attend private school using state funds this year. That’s an increase from 9,100 last year and 3,900 two years ago.

University of Saint Francis

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced a proposal today to help renovate the University of Saint Francis’ downtown campus. The proposal would be paid for with the City’s Legacy Funds. 

Henry says Fort Wayne is a center of education, and the city should capitalize on that benefit. He says "a lot of people don't realize that we have truly a college town. We have over 30,000 college students in this city."

USF plans to further renovate the Scottish Rite Facility on Berry Street, which is now their Performing Arts Center.  

Indiana’s attorney general will work with the state’s congressional delegation in the new year to try to secure more federal funding for police officers in schools.  But some criminal justice advocates say hiring new school resource officers won’t necessarily make schools safer.