Shaina Cavazos

Author
Data requested by Chalkbeat shows, for the first time since the policy was put in place, how it plays out in schools.
The Senate’s 4.9 percent education spending increase is a little more than increases in years past and slightly higher than the House proposed.
Senate lawmakers have traditionally been more skeptical about virtual schools than their House counterparts.
While the number of online school students earning zero credits has decreased from 2017 to 2018, that figure still remains particularly high at some schools.
House education committee members voted 9-0 Monday to amend a Senate bill, further watering it down while folding in measures from similar bills.
The report, expected to be presented to the Indiana State Board of Education next week, showed that 40 percent of students in foster care attend schools rated C, D, or F.
The provision was added to a bill that would change some rules about alternative teacher licenses, which passed the committee unanimously as well.
The experiences of parents and students who spoke to Chalkbeat varied widely — some said the virtual schools were a “lifesaver.” Others called them a “waste of time.”
Teachers participated in a teacher pay-themed story slam co-hosted by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Chalkbeat, and Teachers Lounge Indy.
The Daleville public school board, the authorizer for Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, voted unanimously to push back the public hearing about whether the schools’ charters should be revoked, which could lead to their closure.
The charter school, which includes grades 7-12, anticipated a budget deficit and fewer students next year, amid other problems.
Jennifer McCormick is running for state superintendent on the Republican ticket this fall. Currently, she is the superintendent of schools in Yorktown, near Muncie.
Glenda Ritz is the state superintendent for Indiana. She is running for re-election this fall. Before getting into politics, she spent her career in Washington Township.
Online charter schools have morphed from small programs designed to serve a niche group of students into giant catch-alls for some of Indiana’s hardest-to-serve.
The board voted 4-1 to not renew the charter, and board staff said the school will likely close at the end of the year.
Most of the people who testified before the state subcommittee criticized a House Republican proposal to cut $105 million for high-needs students.
In Indiana Republicans’ education budget, complexity funding would be slashed over the next two years, a change that would benefit wealthier districts more than their higher-need counterparts.
The rally, hosted by the Indiana State Teachers Association, comes as teacher salaries have dominated this year’s legislative debates.
The two bills largely ignore some of the stronger measures proposed by the state board of education and national school choice advocates.
The virtual schools’ superintendent has called the data and claims based on it inaccurate but has not said what the errors are specifically.
The allegations prompted the authorizer’s board to begin the process to revoke the schools’ charters — a path that could end with the schools closing.
Indiana teachers are prohibited by law from striking, but similar laws in other states haven’t kept teachers from walking out.
Special education problems at Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy are one reason why the online schools could lose their charters.
The harsh words came a day after the virtual charter schools were put on notice that their charter agreements could be revoked by their oversight agency.
Two online charter schools, Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, could lose their charters after their authorizer alleged thousands of enrolled students went semesters or sometimes years with no credits or without even signing up for classes.
More than 60 former Indiana teachers responded to a Chalkbeat survey about why they decided to leave teaching.
The estimates are far from final, as the Senate will still offer its own budget draft and lawmakers will eventually have to come to a compromise.
The budget draft proposes increasing what Indiana spends on schools overall by $461 million — or 4.3 percent — through 2021.