Rise & Shine: Districts across Indiana are in financial trouble, and state policy could be to blame

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And now, on to today’s news:

9 things you should know about Indiana education

  1. SCHOOL CHOICE: Indianapolis Public Schools students have made their initial high school choices for next year, and it’s clear some schools are more popular than others. Enrollment at Shortridge, for example, could more than triple next year. Read more in Chalkbeat.
  2. FUNDING: Indiana has miscalculated how much money to send to schools this year. The shortfall could be as high as $9 million. Read more from Chalkbeat, the Journal Gazette, and the Indy Star.
  3. ONLINE CHARTER SCHOOLS: State lawmakers and policymakers are concerned about the high student-teacher ratios and unusual spending revealed by a Chalkbeat investigation of Indiana Virtual School. But will they act to change it? Read more in Chalkbeat.
  4. POETRY IN PRISON: At our teacher story slam earlier this year, one storyteller shared a funny and heartbreaking tale of teaching poetry in the Indiana Women’s Prison. Watch him tell the story at Chalkbeat.
  5. ‘WITH FIDELITY’: Teacher Tom Rademacher is tired of hearing about teaching with fidelity. “Admitting that schools are messy and students are human and teaching is both creative and artistic would also mean you have to trust teachers and let them have some power.” Read his manifesto in Chalkbeat.
  6. DRESS CODES: A Washington Township middle school is reconsidering its dress code after parents and students complained that rules such as a banning tank tops that show shoulders make girls feel like their bodies are a problem. Read more in the Indy Star.
  7. MONEY PROBLEMS: School districts across Indiana are in financial distress. The Indy Star took a deep dive into the districts that are struggling most and how state policies such as property tax caps and the growth of school choice have made financial stability more difficult.
  8. GARY: Financial woes in Gary led the state to take over the district. But problems still persist, with buildings in poor condition, enrollment declining and a $1.7 million per month deficit, according to NWI. Separately, state auditors asked the Gary superintendent to return $30,000 in bonuses that were not properly approved by the school board, according to the Post Tribune.
  9. MUNCIE: Recriminations are flying in another district in financial trouble. In emails to the state obtained by the Star Press, Muncie teachers and a school board member whose term is nearing its end sent expressed distrust of the superintendent. Read more in the Star Press.

— Shaina Cavazos and Dylan Peers McCoy, reporters