Indiana State Board of Education

(Joe Hren/WTIU)

Schools are starting to take advantage of new flexibility from a law passed by lawmakers earlier this year, that allows schools to apply for waivers to bypass certain state requirements if they can prove it will benefit students.

(FILE PHOTO: Tyler Lake/WFIU)

The Indiana State Board of Education unanimously approved a proposal to maintain full funding levels for schools operating online this fall. School leaders and educators say it offers much-needed stability.

Lauren Chapman / IPB News

The Indiana State Board of Education is considering a plan to protect funding for schools reopening virtually this school year, after a warning of possible cuts from lawmakers last month.

An official report published last month revealed just how much two virtual charter schools falsified student enrollment data to receive millions in state funding. Now lawmakers are responding to the scandal.

Educators have long asked for state lawmakers to cut back on the number of policy changes and requirements placed on schools, but some efforts at the statehouse are receiving mixed feedback. 

The Indiana State Board of Education approved a proposal that will cut state funding from some family and consumer science (FCS) classes starting next school year, after board members held a procedural vote at a special meeting Friday.

GARY, Indiana -- Two starkly different plans emerged Monday about the future of Theodore Roosevelt College & Career Academy, a high school under state takeover since 2012 for chronic academic failure. Students were also displaced earlier this year after the building was shuttered due to millions of dollars in weather-related damages.

Three schools under state takeover could be returned to former home district Indianapolis Public Schools after a state-appointed board denied a charter application for each school Friday.

The application rejection is a staggering end to nearly eight years of a state-mandated takeover where the schools are managed by a private Florida-based company, Charter Schools USA. The takeover was already set to run out in June 2020, and CSUSA hoped a related organization would be granted charters to oversee the schools when it ended.

A proposal from state workforce agencies would cut funding for classes that teach nutrition, personal finance, and other skills. It has many Family and Consumer Sciences teachers across the state worried.

The state’s school accountability panel finalized its recommendations for the State Board of Education and General Assembly Tuesday, and under the proposal, schools would be graded primarily on what students do after high school. 

Indiana’s governor will appoint the next leader of the state department of education in 2021, and that’s prompted lawmakers to consider merging three key state education groups to better align education policymaking and oversight power in the state.

Parents and others angrily called out the State Board of Education at its meeting today in Gary. They say despite the state’s intervention in local schools students face unsafe buildings, leaky roofs and even lack toilet paper at one school.

Parent LaRona Carter says students have been let down by elected state officials, various appointed boards and the companies hired with tax-dollars to manage the schools. Nine other parents and community members echoed Carter during public comments.

The State Board of Education approved the scores students need in order to reach proficiency on Indiana’s new standardized test at a meeting Thursday.

Two virtual schools being investigated by the state could close as early as this September. The school district that authorizes the schools began the process of revoking their charters at a special meeting Thursday night.

The U.S. census determines billions of dollars in federal funding for Indiana – including for schools – and education leaders across the state are on a mission to make sure every Hoosier child gets counted in 2020. 

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