Monday, March 25, 2019

In Case You Missed It – Mar 25, 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.

****Putting it on facebook, introduce with:
ICYMI Popular posts from the past week.


Public Education Has Lost a Champion

Quite a few of the popular posts this week were tributes to NEIFPE co-founder, Phyllis Bush. We have collected them and published them on our blog. Click the link above.


These charter schools could soon turn to IPS for help with special education

Why are our tax dollars going to schools who can’t or won’t educate children with special needs? If you can't educate all the children of the community then you shouldn't be allowed to run a tax supported school!

From Chalkbeat
Indianapolis Public Schools is considering launching a cooperative that would allow a handful of innovation schools — which are run by outside operators, including charters — to pay the district to help educate special needs students. The move would be a significant step in the district’s development as a service provider to schools it doesn’t manage.

Here’s the tally for how much IPS needs to cut from its budget

While IPS students see cuts and lose resources, IPS board votes to give away resources to charter schools.

From Chalkbeat
The Indy Chamber and Indianapolis Public Schools have put a number on how much the district needs to cut or make up in new revenue over the next eight years: $328 million. But just what sacrifices families and educators will have to make is still uncertain.

Exclusive: Indy Eleven offers to buy Broad Ripple High to build stadium

From IndyStar
A 20,000-seat soccer stadium, the new home of the Indy Eleven, may be built on the campus of now-closed Broad Ripple High School.

The $550 million proposal — which would need IPS Board, state and city approval to move forward — also includes hundreds of apartments, retail space, an office building, a hotel, underground parking, a school and a public plaza.

The development could pump fresh life into Broad Ripple, one of the city's most historic and charming neighborhoods but also one that has struggled in recent years with crime and the nuisances of a popular bar scene.

Marketed to millennials, Indy Eleven has a young, largely upscale fan base. The prospect of walking or taking the new Red Line to a neighborhood stadium — and nearby restaurants and bars before and after matches — would have strong appeal.

Overwhelmed by problems, an Indianapolis charter school is closing — again

The most infuriating word in this headline is the word AGAIN! Charter school operators often jump into the education world without any concept of how difficult it actually is. How can we stop our legislators from creating these disasters?

From Chalkbeat
A far east side charter school that suffered from dwindling enrollment, low test scores, and high teacher and principal turnover will close in June.

Indianapolis Lighthouse East, which reopened four years ago, was expected to graduate only 44 percent of seniors in its first graduating class this year. The school, which includes grades 7-12, also anticipated a budget deficit and fewer students next year, and teachers and students alike have complained that discipline is a major issue there.

With new deal, IPS could pay for 2 KIPP charter schools’ busing with local tax money

While IPS students go without, will the IPS board give away resources to charter schools?

From Chalkbeat
The Indianapolis Public Schools board will vote Thursday on whether to provide some KIPP charter school students free busing, a move that would give the schools rare access to services funded by local property tax money.

The board is considering extending to two KIPP schools the free busing it has been providing to former neighborhood schools that were overhauled by charter partners. While the KIPP schools, like those schools, are part of the district’s innovation network, they were previously independent charter schools and have picked up part of the cost of busing their receives from the district.


People's guardian? Appointed secretary could hasten state's turn away from public education

The Republicans in the Indiana legislature are very vocal about giving "choice" in public education, yet they have removed the choice that voters had in choosing an education leader for the state.

Making the new Indiana Secretary of Education position appointed is bad enough. Allowing someone with no education experience to be appointed to the position is an insult to every education professional in Indiana and more proof that the Republican super-majority hates public education.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Republican Jennifer McCormick will leave office at the end of 2021 as Indiana's last superintendent of public instruction. She might also leave as the last educator in the top education post. House Bill 1005, approved by the Indiana Senate Tuesday, doesn't require the governor to appoint an educator as secretary of education.

The legislation, which accelerated the appointment by four years after McCormick announced she would not seek a second term, requires the appointee to have an advanced degree, “preferably in education or educational administration (emphasis added),” and to be either a licensed educator or to have at least five years of work experience as a teacher, superintendent or executive in the field of education.

Republican leaders held firm against efforts to amend the bill. When four-term state Superintendent Suellen Reed urged the Senate Education Committee to require an education-related degree, first-term Sen. Aaron Freeman pointed out that such a requirement would have prevented Mitch Daniels' appointment as president of Purdue University or Betsy DeVos' selection as U.S. secretary of education.


Robinson to adults: What can you do for children?

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools, today challenged about 300 people to consider what they can do for children.

"If you remember the old saying, 'It takes a village,' our problem today isn't the kids," Robinson said. "The problem today is we don't have a village anymore."


Low test scores and shrinking enrollment cost Indianapolis Academy of Excellence its charter

Why do our legislators keep allowing for charters that fail like this?

From Chalkbeat
The Indiana Charter School Board voted Tuesday not to renew the charter for the Indianapolis Academy of Excellence, a small school it oversees on the city’s northeast side.

The 129-student school, which opened in 2014, was up for charter renewal during what became a tumultuous year, school leaders said. The board voted 4-1 to end the charter, and board staff said the school will likely close at the end of the year.


Lakeland School Corp. may close 2 elementary schools

LaGrange County - The Lakeland School Corporation is in high economic risk of operating in the red, and one of their proposed solutions against that future is downsizing the number of buildings in the district. Ideas were proposed at a school board meeting Monday night in which more than 125 people attended.

There is currently one high school, one middle school, and three elementary schools in the district.

One of the proposals is for a three-school district. The district would close down both Lima-Brighton and Wolcott Mills elementary schools. What would remain is a primary elementary school for kindergarten through second grade, an intermediate elementary school for third through sixth grade, and a junior/senior high school for seventh through twelfth grade. School attendance numbers are projected to be 399, 563, and 883 students, respectively.

Lakeland leadership said they are expecting an operating loss of nearly $700,000 this year and $900,000 next year. The three-school proposal would save them $1.1 million by the end of 2020.


The New Yorker Defends AOC

From Diane Ravitch
This is a great article by New Yorker editor David Remnick about Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It is almost funny how she has rattled the GOP. They hate, hate, hate her. Is it her youth, her idealism, her beauty, her brains? Is it because she has a heart and they don’t? Is it because she has a soul and they don’t? She frightens them.


Poor schools neglected in funding plan

From School Matters
Hardly anyone wins in the 2019-21 budget and school funding formula approved by the Indiana House, but some schools lose more than others. And high-poverty school districts continue to fall behind.

Legislators have boasted that the budget increases K-12 funding by over 2 percent each of the next two years. But allowing for inflation and increasing enrollment, that’s effectively no increase at all.

As Northwest Allen County Superintendent Chris Himsel tells the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, the key figure is funding per student. Statewide, that will increase by just 1.5 percent in fiscal 2020 and 1.7 percent in fiscal 2021, according to school funding calculations released by House Republications.

And the increase won’t be distributed equally. That’s because funding for the “complexity” category, which funnels additional support to neediest students, is being cut by over $100 million.


Indiana's twin education deficits: Students' widening achievement gap must be narrowed

From Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The department invests its energy and resources toward helping all students achieve their highest potential and receive an equitable education. Indiana must measure what matters to determine progress toward closing the achievement gap.

I appreciate that this debate has opened a dialogue on education policy in our state. All Indiana students deserve sound policies and best practices. This requires Hoosiers to be informed (#beinformed).

As always, under my leadership, the department will continue to advocate for all students, rather than allowing political agendas to misrepresent true educational equity.


Budget shuffle shortchanges public schools

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
At a March 7 board work session, Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson pointed to mandates the General Assembly continues to heap on public schools that require new administrative positions, including a proposed requirement to track what students do after they graduate.

“We don't have enough counselors now to deal with what we're supposed to do for kids now in school,” she said. “And the question is why? What is the benefit and what resources are you giving us to get this done?”

Indiana lawmakers have not kept up with their obligation to public education. Insisting they have increased spending ignores both the budget restraints they have placed on public schools and their decision to fund schooling for thousands of private and parochial school students without raising taxes. Don't be fooled by their sleight of hand.


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