Rise & Shine: Former Gary superintendent arrested, charged with theft and official misconduct

Hi folks!

We’re back to it after a much-needed three-day weekend. Last week was a frenzy of education news — the state released ISTEP scores and named the Indiana Teacher of the Year, plus schools chief Jennifer McCormick stirred up political intrigue.

We also co-hosted a very informative forum on the Indianapolis Public Schools referendums. We learned from the panelists about tax measures in Indiana, in addition to the financial situation driving the district's requests. Dylan rounded up five key takeaways from the event — including what a successful referendum could mean for innovation schools and teacher raises. Check out her story below, and her look at why teacher pay is such a critical issue in the district.

But that wasn’t even all that happened last week! In case you missed it, we also covered a troubled private school that lost its voucher eligibility, a proposal to expand school choice, and a look at poverty in Indianapolis. A little reading for your Fall Break!

Hope you’re soaking in the sunshine and unseasonably toasty weather — we’ll be missing it soon enough.

— Stephanie Wang, bureau chief

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

‘WE NEED MORE’: How the success or failure of the referendums could affect teacher pay, innovation schools, and safety. Chalkbeat

Why raises for teachers could still be small, and where that leaves IPS teachers on the local payscale. Chalkbeat

TOP 10s: See which Marion County schools posted the highest and lowest ISTEP scores this year. Chalkbeat

And, check out which Marion County schools saw the greatest gains and biggest drops on test scores. Chalkbeat

ICYMI: Why Indiana officials pulled a private school’s vouchers and accreditation. Chalkbeat

An Indiana lawmaker looks to revive ‘education saving accounts’ for students with disabilities. Chalkbeat

What helps fight poverty in Indianapolis? Pre-K and charter schools, mayors say. Chalkbeat

SCHOOL SAFETY: Indiana will receive $1 million from the federal government to help prevent school violence. AP

WARM HEARTS: A national recognition could extend the good deeds of an Indianapolis Public Schools teacher who made scarves for his students last winter. Fox59

POLICE BLOTTER: Former Gary Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt was arrested and charged with theft and official misconduct after double-billing the cash-strapped district for a $1,200 conference trip, according to court records. Post-Tribune, NWI Times

An Indiana teacher was placed on administrative leave after school officials say he did not immediately report a man carrying a gun on campus. Post-Tribune, NWI Times

A choir director at Franklin Community High School was charged with child seduction, accused of having a months-long sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. IndyStar

A former Indiana teacher accused of using cocaine in the classroom was sentenced to probation and drug rehabilitation. Post-Tribune, NWI Times

A Muncie high school volleyball coach accused of having sex with a 15-year-old player was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison. Star-Press

A former Mishawaka High School assistant girls basketball coach found guilty of having a sexual relationship with a player was sentenced to home detention. South Bend Tribune