Monday, May 2, 2022

In Case You Missed It – May 2, 2022

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 new Follow Us By Email box in the right-hand column to be informed when our blog posts are published.

Due to a technical error, last week's IN CASE YOU MISSED IT from NEIFPE was unpublished or removed from the blog. It has been reposted and, if you scroll down you will find it below this May 2, 2022 post. We apologize for any inconvenience.

This week's popular articles and blog posts focused on charter schools and the so-called "parental rights" movement.

We start with an announcement from one of our local school districts.


FWCS's Title I money will be focused exclusively on elementary schools.

FWCS elementaries focus of Title I funds

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
Fort Wayne Community Schools is changing its spending strategy for the $12 million in federal funding it receives to serve children living in high-poverty areas.

The district, which has about 50 schools and almost 30,000 students, decided in its annual review of Title I spending to use the money solely at all of its elementary schools next academic year, spokeswoman Krista Stockman said. The list includes Towles Intermediate School, which serves grades one through eight.

This year, the Title I schools comprise 25 elementary schools, four middle schools and three high schools. Together they serve almost 17,000 students, according to state enrollment data.


Unwanted charter school wisely gives up

Our hometown newspaper editorializes about the withdrawn application of a charter school.

From the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette**
As organizer of the proposed Fort Wayne Preparatory Academy, state law required the board to hold a public hearing in the community before it could decide the school's fate. That meeting was Monday at the Allen County Public Library's main branch, where the planned charter encountered heavy resistance.

The academy had sought to open in the 2023-24 academic year with 150 elementary students. Leaders wanted to expand to middle grades, eventually serving 400 students, according to the 268-page application. The academy expected to draw students from FWCS, and its application said it planned to open in “the southwestern area of Fort Wayne.” But it identified “one current target” on the city's southeast side – the former Zion Lutheran Academy building at 2313 S. Hanna St.

About 25 people – including Fort Wayne Community Schools board members and Superintendent Mark Daniel – urged the state's charter school board to reject the application. Opponents questioned the academy's proposed budget and staffing plans. They pointed out two of the academy's three board members live in the Southwest Allen County Schools district and not FWCS, and they criticized the record of the education service provider, Accel Schools.


Purdue Poly seeks a deal to use Broad Ripple High School for one year

There should be no such thing as a "cash-strapped" school district. The Indiana Constitution requires that the legislature...

"...provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all."

It would seem obvious that the state is responsible for making sure those "common schools" are properly funded. If a school or district is "cash-strapped" then the school board and state must work together to fully fund the district.

From Chalkbeat Indiana*
Four years after Broad Ripple High School closed its doors, students may return to its classrooms — but just for a year.

Indianapolis Public Schools is considering letting Purdue Polytechnic High School North temporarily use part of the building while the charter school’s permanent home is under construction.

It’s an interesting twist in the saga over Broad Ripple High School. Purdue Poly had sought in 2018 to take over the building but later backed out of the contentious debate that pitted choice-friendly lawmakers against the cash-strapped district.

I'm Not Going To Defend SEL

Is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) the newest target for the anti-public education crowd?

From Curmudgucation
Social and Emotional Learning is the new target of the GOP attempt to set multiple education brushfires in hopes of stampeding voters towards a Republican victory (as well as one more way for the authoritarian crowd to hammer home their central point of "Trust nobody except Beloved Leader"). The attacks range from overblown to intellectually dishonest to giant piles of bovine fecal matter to the odious, evil charges that the teaching profession is simply a haven for groomers.

And there is irony in these attacks from the right, because SEL is just the latest packaging of what we used to call "soft skills," and some of the greatest push for getting these into schools has come from the business community ("Hey schools! Fix my meat widgets so they communicate and cooperate better!!")

All that said, I'm not going to be the one to defend SEL in the classroom.


AZ: An Even Worse Parental Rights Bill

Public schools belong to the entire community, not just the parents whose children currently attend. Like the public library, public parks, and public thoroughfares, the public schools benefit everyone, not just the children attending the school.

To be sure, parents are allowed to remove their children from public schools and send them to private schools or provide home schooling. Certain conditions must be met because the education of the citizenry is in the interest of everyone in the community.

Those parents who choose to enroll their children in a private school (assuming that the private school allows their children to attend) should be required to pay for it themselves.

"The whole people must take upon themselves the education of the whole people and be willing to bear the expenses of it. There should not be a district of one mile square, without a school in it, not founded by a charitable individual, but maintained at the public expense of the people themselves." - John Adams

From Curmudgucation
As more and more of these rear their heads across the country, the language gets sloppier and -- well, just bad. Recently approved by the Senate and previously okayed by the House, Arizona's HB 2161 throws a new verb into the mix-- usurp.

As in, no political subdivision of the state or any other government entity or any official etc (because in this phrase, the bill's writer was exactingly detailed and thorough) "shall not interfere with or usurp the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children."

And if that seems hugely broad and vague--well, it gets worse. Because the very next sentence says that a parent may bring suit against the "government entity or official" based on any violation of the statutes or action that "interferes with or usurps the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children."
*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 [NOTE: NEIFPE has no financial ties to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette]


No comments: