7 things you should know about Indiana education

  1. ESAs DIE IN COMMITTEE: A bill proposing education savings accounts for students with special needs — giving parents unprecedented control over state education dollars — died in committee this week. Read more from Chalkbeat.
  2. SUPPORT FOR TEACHERS: Indianapolis Public Schools is experimenting with a new approach to teaching that aims to attract experienced teachers and give new teachers the mentoring and support to thrive. At School 107, the principal decided to increase class sizes to hire new teacher leaders, and it’s transforming the school.
  3. BUDGET DEBATE: House lawmakers have released the first draft of the 2017 Indiana budget — more than half of which would go to fund K-12 education. Suburban schools, virtual schools, English-learners and the state’s voucher program would see boosts to their funding. The teacher bonus program? Not so much. Stories from Chalkbeat, the Post-Tribune, WISH-TV, the Statehouse File, StateImpact and a database from the Indy Star.
  4. WHO’S WHO: In this occasional series, we’re highlighting the power players in Indiana education. First up, the chairman of the House Education Committee, a proponent of choice-based school reform and school innovation. Check out Chalkbeat’s story here.
  5. MANAGING DEBT IN GARY: The Indiana Senate unanimously voted for the state to manage finances for Gary schools. Senators say they hope the move helps alleviate a bevy of problems the district has faced in recent years. More from NWI and the Post-Tribune.
  6. AT THE VOTING BOOTH: Carmel’s school board approved a tax referendum for voters to consider on the May ballot. District leaders said if the referendum is not approved, some academic programs could be cut or pared down. The Indy Star and WISH-TV have the story.
  7. FREE SPEECH: Student journalists showed up in full force at the Statehouse on Tuesday to back House Bill 1130, which would ensure high school publications have freedom of expression. The bill, opposed by some school administrator groups, has so far seen support from lawmakers. WFYI has more details.

Coming up…

The House Education Committee is set to vote Monday on a bill that would allow failing private schools to appeal to the Indiana State Board of Education so they could continue accepting new voucher students. WFYI has the details.