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School safety debate focused on mental health provisions in bill

By Emily Ketterer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — The main opposition of a catch-all school safety House bill is focused on a public school’s place in evaluating mental health –– an aspect of school safety the governor and lawmakers want to focus on. The Senate Education and Career Development Committee listened to testimony only on House Bill […]

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Families defend rights for special needs students amid changes to complaint process

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — “Like an empty barrel floating in the middle of the ocean, I felt alone…I just wanted to die.” That’s what Caiden Wetherald, 17, said to the House Education Committee Wednesday, where lawmakers and community stakeholders gathered to review a bill that would change how schools and families serve students […]

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Indiana is in the driver’s seat for school safety improvements

By Bryan Wells TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS– A Senate committee unanimously approved a bill Tuesday to help keep young Hoosiers feeling safe while at school rather than sitting in fear. House Bill 1225, authored by Rep. Greg Steuerwald, R- Avon, would allow school corporations, charter schools and accredited nonpublic schools to join with the sheriff for the […]

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State’s top educator won’t need education experience under bill advancing in Senate

By Emily Ketterer TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Senate Republicans rejected two amendments to return the state superintendent of public instruction to an elected position or at least require the appointee to have education experience. House Bill 1005, as it stands, makes the state superintendent of public instruction an appointed position by the governor beginning January 2021. […]

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Winners and losers: Blame game dominates K-12 school funding debate

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — A Senate committee called to review the state’s proposed budget for public school districts left lawmakers, educators, parents, and other community stakeholders unsure of where to place the blame for newly uncovered shortfalls. “Unfortunately, this most recent formula creates two winners and losers in the biennium budget,” said Jeff […]

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Education advocates note paradox in bill to set school spending targets

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to correct an error. The story now correctly says that 85 percent of funding should be devoted to education expenses and 15 percent to operations. By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Stakeholders are calling a proposal by lawmakers to set spending goals for K-12 education well-intended, but also […]

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Demonstrators at teachers association rally tell Holcomb to ‘come closer’

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com   INDIANAPOLIS — Above a sea of red shirts, handmade signs and impassioned chants demanding respect and fair wages, 26-year-old Hillary Kolter stands. Kolter holds up a white cardboard sign. Its sharp, black-and-red letters spell out a call to action to the state of Indiana: “You can’t put students first…if you […]

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Senate committee reviews bill to appoint state’s top education office in 2021

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A former Indiana state superintendent of public instruction is urging lawmakers to require that appointed education chiefs have some firsthand experience in the K-12 school system. The discussion started when Suellen Reed, who held the state’s top education office from 1993 until 2009, testified on a proposal to move […]

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Students demand action from lawmakers to end youth gun violence, school shootings

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — A blistering wind chill did little to dissuade dozens of Indiana students, teachers and others from rallying at the Indiana Statehouse Saturday, where people of all backgrounds demanded an immediate response to gun violence from their lawmakers.   The event, organized by We LIVE (Linked to Intercept Violence Everywhere) […]

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‘We’re walking to them’: State leaders review proposed teacher pay solutions

By Erica Irish TheStatehouseFile.com  INDIANAPOLIS — While each of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plans to increase funding to K-12 education made it into the House budget proposal before the mid-session deadline, a debate looms as to how much this will affect teacher paychecks. The $34.6 billion budget bill designed by House Republicans, which allocates more than […]

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