Monday, January 21, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Jan 21, 2019

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention in NEIFPE's social media. Keep up with what's going on, what's being discussed, and what's happening with public education.

Be sure to enter your email address in the Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.


EACS reaches settlement in Gay Straight Alliance lawsuit

According to the ACLU, under the terms of the settlement, EACS has agreed to allow Leo Pride Alliance to change its name to Leo GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), and to provide the organization with all meeting, communication and fundraising opportunities provided to other groups.

ACLU suit alleging EACS bias is settled

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
EACS denied the allegations but agreed to allow the group to change its name to Leo GSA, according to a statement from the ACLU. A judge on Friday dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it can't be filed again.

“The student led Gay Straight Alliance group at Leo High School must be treated in the same manner that all other student groups are treated,” the ACLU said in a news release announcing the settlement. “We are pleased that East Allen County Schools agreed to the equal treatment of the group, relieving these students of any unwarranted burdens.”


Indiana lawmaker calls for random drug tests for high school athletes

A state lawmaker has introduced a measure calling on random drug tests for high school athletes.

Republican state Sen. Jean Leising wants to send a strong message to students across the state: "If you want to play on your school's athletic team, you have to be willing to take a drug test."

The Republican from Oldenburg said she has heard parents share instances of student-athletes doing drugs.


Indiana State Senator Wants To Require ‘In God We Trust’ Posters In Classrooms

From Huffington Post
...Republican state Sen. Dennis Kruse’s bill, introduced last Thursday, seeks to place a poster reading “In God We Trust” in every public and charter school classroom in Indiana...

...The bill would also allow public schools to teach creationism and offer a survey course on world religions. Curriculum for the survey course must be “neutral, objective and balanced” and not “promote acceptance of any particular religion,” according to the legislation, but it only lists the Bible as a specific text to be studied.


Karen Pence, America’s second lady, is teaching at Virginia religious school that bars LGBTQ students and employees

A surprise to no one.

From The Answer Sheet
Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Pence and the nation’s second lady, is now teaching art at a local Christian elementary school that reserves the right to reject LGBTQ students and employees, according to documents on its website.


The big talk in the legislature and from the governor this past week was over teacher pay. Four articles had a high rate of engagement.

Teacher pay proposal a surprise

From School Matters
Gov. Eric Holcomb dropped a surprise Tuesday in his State of the State address, and it was a good one. He called for tapping Indiana’s budget surplus to add $70 million to funding for K-12 schools each of the next two years.

That’s a little less than a 1 percent increase, but it’s something. And it’s on top of a 2-percent-per-year school funding hike in Holcomb’s budget proposal.

It was a surprise because the Republicans who control both the House and Senate had signaled that Indiana’s $1.8 billion surplus was off the table in this budget-writing session. If the GOP governor says it’s not off the table, then it’s not.

Holcomb talks teacher pay

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Gov. Eric Holcomb proposed freeing up $140 million in funding for teacher pay during his third State of the State Address on Tuesday.

It was the lone surprise in a speech to Indiana lawmakers that delivered a strong statement on hate crimes and focused on a strong economy.

“We simply cannot just maintain our course. Instead we must throttle up,” he said.

Indiana to tap reserves to free up $140M for teacher pay, Holcomb promises

From Chalkbeat
Indiana plans to free up $140 million over two years for schools with the goal of increasing teacher pay, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb pledged Tuesday night in his State of the State address.

The state will tap into its $2 billion in reserves to pay down a pension liability for schools, Holcomb said, reducing schools’ expenses so more money could go to educators.

“Just like paying off your mortgage frees up money in your personal budget, this state investment will save all local schools $140 million over the biennium with continued savings thereafter,” Holcomb said.

FWCS upset by funding proposal: Shaming schools 'ridiculous' idea

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne Community Schools leaders had a few choice words Monday – “ridiculous,” “asinine,” “cruel” – about proposed legislation that would publicly shame districts transferring more than 15 percent of state funding to operations rather than classroom expenditures.

“It's cruel, almost, because you're painting the picture that all of us have been irresponsible,” FWCS Superintendent Wendy Robinson said at Monday's board meeting. “... With what we have, we are constantly trying to find other resources.”

House Bill 1003 is an attempt by state Republicans to increase teacher pay without adding new state dollars. Instead, legislators want schools to use more existing dollars on salaries.

“We do need to pay teachers more,” board President Julie Hollingsworth said. “It's obvious in Indiana that teacher pay is falling behind, so the question is how to do it. We have other academic staff in our buildings that serve students. They deserve a raise, too.”


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