Monday, March 8, 2021

In Case You Missed It – March 8, 2021

Here are links to last week's articles receiving the most attention on NEIFPE's social media accounts. 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.


Vic's Statehouse Notes #353
House Bill 1005 includes money given to parents through an ESA, an Education Scholarship Account where parents are allowed to pay for their child's education from vendors or schools in a competitive private marketplace.

According to the bill, the parent “must agree that” they “will use part of the money” for the “student’s study in the subject of reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, or science” or the student’s “individualized education program”. These quotes are directly from HB 1005.

That’s all! It’s the lowest standard imaginable, and no one will monitor even this parent responsibility because the bill specifically bans curriculum oversight by the state.

Criminal background checks, required for teachers, are not required for parents to get their ESA money. Parents with records of neglect or abuse or fraud are not excluded by HB 1005. No restrictions on parents are included in the bill!

House Bill 1005 is not currently on the committee agenda for March 10th but could be heard in committee as early as Wednesday, March 17th.

Let the Senators on the committee know you oppose the dangerous concept of Education Scholarship Accounts and the expensive expansion of the current voucher system, especially when teacher pay has not been addressed. Click the link above to find the committee members and their email addresses.

Lawmakers' assault on schools must be repelled

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
The time to speak up for public education in Indiana is now, and that time is running out. If we do not speak up to support our public schools and their students, then who will?

Please contact your legislators before it's too late, and voice your opposition to HB 1001 and HB 1005.


Just 1 in 6 Indiana college students who study education become teachers, report finds

The teacher shortage in Indiana is getting worse. We’d like to suggest that efforts to create a more diverse teaching force, higher pay, and more respect would go a long way to solving this issue. Do we have legislators in place who are willing to do the necessary things to get teachers into classrooms?

From Chalkbeat Indiana*
Of the roughly 11,000 students who pursued bachelor’s degrees in education, just 16% eventually received licenses and found jobs in Indiana public schools.

Indiana schools have struggled to fill vacancies in recent years as a strong economy created jobs in other industries. Teacher pay in Indiana lags behind that of neighboring states and behind salaries of other professional careers — a problem that has attracted attention from politicians and advocates on both sides of the aisle.

Schools are particularly struggling to hire more teachers of color and to fill positions in high-demand areas such as special education and math.


Indiana Teachers Can Get COVID-19 Vaccine At Kroger, Meijer, Walmart

Hoosier school employees don't have to wait for Governor Holcomb to follow the CDC Phase 1b Vaccination Guidelines to prioritize teachers for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Federal Government has approved vaccines through the Federal Pharmacy Program.

Hoosier K-12 teachers and child care workers can now get the COVID-19 vaccine through a federal program, outside of the state’s plan.

A recent Biden administration announcement means that educators can get vaccinated through federal pharmacy program sites – in Indiana, that’s Kroger, Meijer and Walmart.

FWCS IN 2021-22

FWCS: In-person classes for 2021-22 school year

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
"If this pandemic has told us one thing," [Superintendent Mark] Daniel said, "it has told us we do so much better, so much better – our students, our staff, our entire organization – when we're in person."


Northeast Indiana school superintendents ask state to put off ILEARN test due to pandemic

Read the letter from more than three dozen northeast Indiana school superintendents.

From WANE dot come
The challenges of the past year have helped us all to see what is truly important and valuable. On behalf of the school districts and communities of northeast Indiana, and for the good of our children, we ask you to please reconsider the current ILEARN requirements. Continuing with ILEARN during this unprecedented year would be a failure of imagination and would negatively impact needed instructional time as well as jeopardize student health and safety. ILEARN is expensive and provides little to no value for teachers and families.


FL: College Is For Meat Widgets, Not That Learnin' Stuff

What is the purpose of education? Is it all about training students for a job, or is it for developing citizens in a democracy? A legislator in Florida believes that the state shouldn't pay for education unless it leads to a job.

From Curmudgucation
We want all of our students to succeed in meaningful careers that provide for their families and serve our communities. As taxpayers we should all be concerned about subsidizing degrees that just lead to debt, instead of the jobs our students want and need. We encourage all students to pursue their passions, but when it comes to taxpayer subsidized education, there needs to be a link to our economy, and that is the goal of this legislation,
Yeah, pursuing your passion is swell and all, but the taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill unless you're going to be a useful meat widget.

In other words, pursuing your passion is just for rich folks.
*Note: Financial sponsors of Chalkbeat include pro-privatization foundations and individuals such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, EdChoice, Gates Family Foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, and others.

**Note: The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has changed its online access and is now behind a paywall. Digital access, home delivery, or both, are available with a subscription. Staying informed is important, and one way to do that is to support your local newspaper. For subscription information go to


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