Rise & Shine: Northern Indiana districts face money trouble

Good morning,

School is about learning math and social studies. But it’s also about feeling the love and support of a community of grown-ups. That’s especially true for children and teens who have been through painful trauma.

It’s hard to imagine students who have been through more than those at the Indianapolis Public Schools newcomer program. It opened nearly three years ago, and it is designed to serve students who are new to the country and just learning English. Many of them are refugees or seeking asylum.

During the first year of the program, I spent a day shadowing a student there, and one thing stood out to me: It was a place where students felt safe and supported.

That’s why I was especially excited when Ethan Hoffman, a math teacher at newcomer, was chosen as the district Teacher of the Year last night. Read on for the details of why Hoffman stood out.

— Dylan Peers McCoy, reporter

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Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.

BEST OF THE BEST: A teacher in the Indianapolis Public Schools newcomer program was recognized Monday as the district’s Teacher of the Year. Chalkbeat, WISH, RTV6

DEBT COLLECTION: Two years after it was taken over by the state, the Gary school system has reduced its debt by $11 million — but it still amounts to $93 million. Post-Tribune

MONEY TROUBLE: The superintendent of Hammond schools is recommending three schools be closed and more than 130 positions cut in the face of a $10 million deficit. NWI

COLLEGE AND CAREER: A new report found that people with certifications got full-time employment more often and typically earned more than those without any credentials. WFYI