Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick recently announced that she would not seek re-election. Additionally, she offered her opinion on the controversial subject of vouchers schools excluding LGBT students and employees. Lost in the shuffle was the unveiling of DOE’s Legislative Priorities.
The priorities are broken down into three categories: student learning, school improvement, and operational effectiveness.
- Advocate for an increase in STEM funding to $20M over the biennium
- Support funding opportunities for teacher mentoring programs
- Advocate for expanding On My Way Pre-K
- Advocate to extend kindergarten ADM cut-off date
- Expect an inclusive K-12 environment
- Advocate for innovative high school models such as Pathways-Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)”
Student learning is highlighted by advocating for more money for various priorities. Most notably, the On My Way Pre-K program which at the moment is limited to certain areas and students.
- Support a transparent, single accountability system for Hoosier families
- Advocate for charter school quality by holding authorizers accountable for academic and fiscal responsibilities
- Demand school safety remain a focus by expanding resources, enhancing readiness, and strengthening relationships
- Increase appropriations for drug-free schools to support the social-emotional well-being of all Indiana students
- Advocate for the continuation of Teacher Appreciation Grants
- Create more options for child abuse prevention education
- Increase assessment system efficiency by aligning ISTAR-KR, IREAD-3, and ILEARN
- Increase licensing flexibility for career specialist and workplace specialist
The School improvement category places heavy emphasis on accountability, including a long-awaited single accountability system for parents, as the current A-F system is seen by many as problematic.
- Advocate for an increase in tuition support
- Advocate for closing the gap in pre-K special education funding
- Request a funding increase for the following instructional and operational areas: assessment, curricular reimbursement, and English learners
- Allow greater opportunities for teachers by eliminating the 30-day resignation hold
- Allow schools to retain 100% of their Medicaid program funds
- Expand Indiana’s reciprocity statutes to create more opportunities for educators
- Restore communication disorder emergency permits for speech language pathologists
- Advocate for coaches and referees convicted of identified offenses having their IHSAA certification(s) suspended or revoked
Operational effectiveness centers around further funding priorities but also some general improvements to efficiency such as expanding reciprocity statutes and restoring certain emergency permits.
Read the rundown of the priorities here.
See a more detailed break down here.