Education

Education news

While lawmakers in the Senate decided the fate of several bills Tuesday, a group of public education advocates wearing red gathered downstairs. Teachers unions, the Coalition for Public Education and Indiana PTA helped organize the event as a near-final push for more money in the state budget as the legislative session winds down.

Students start taking Indiana’s new standardized test this month, and officials say the exam should provide better data to teachers and schools about student performance. ILEARN is the new replacement for the ISTEP, and elementary, middle and some high school students will start taking ILEARN as early as next week.

It’s “computer adaptive,” meaning the test adjusts the questions it asks students based on their previous answers.

Spokesman for the State Department of Education Adam Baker says overall, ILEARN will provide better data for teachers and schools, sooner.

Senate Republicans released their budget proposal Thursday, but Democrats say plans to address teacher pay are still lacking.

A new amendment approved by lawmakers Wednesday would allow projectiles to be used during school active shooter training, if employees consent in writing beforehand. The amendment is part of a bill that funds teacher firearm training.

The proposed change comes in response to an incident at an elementary school in Monticello, Indiana earlier this year, when teachers were injured after being shot with metal pellets.

Sen. Erin Houchin on the Senate floor. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Jeanie Lindsay

Some parents of students with disabilities are raising concerns about testing accommodations as the state rolls out its new standardized exam.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Teachers around Indiana rallied Wednesday in support of increasing teacher pay beyond what Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly have proposed.

Governor Eric Holcomb has led the push for adding two percent to what the state puts into its K-12 education budget, but educators like West Lafayette High School science teacher Andi Hipsher say that’s not enough.

“We feel that the two percent will barely even cover raises and they’re taking money from us in other places, so in some corporations, ours included, we might end up having a net loss,” she says.

Indiana’s teacher salaries have been the slowest growing in the country according to a national think tank, and the state’s teachers union says it will take billions of dollars to make up for years of inadequate funding.

A new report from the Commission for Higher Education shows Hoosiers enrolling in college at slightly lower rates than two years ago.

A proposal moving forward at the statehouse would allow school districts to ask voters for a property tax increase specifically to pay for school safety projects.

State lawmakers voted to stop the kind of active shooter training that injured several Indiana elementary school teachers this year. The amendment to House Bill 1004 – a wide-ranging school safety funding bill – prohibits the use of projectiles during school training or drills. 

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