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Statement from Gordon Hendry on settlement of Open Door lawsuit against State Board of Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 3, 2014

Statement from Gordon Hendry on settlement of Open Door lawsuit against State Board of Education 

INDIANAPOLIS – At-Large State Board of Education member Gordon Hendry issued the following statement in response to the announcement today that the Attorney General has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the State Board for alleged violations of the Open Door Law late last year.
 
The settlement includes the payment of legal fees to plaintiffs’ attorneys with admission that no violation of the Open Door Law occurred and no ability for plaintiffs to ever bring the lawsuit again.
 
“It’s unfortunate that a frivolous lawsuit like this one wasted so much time and energy that would have been better spent focusing on the needs of Indiana’s students.
 
“The most important thing to take away from this agreement is that no violation of the Open Door law occurred, and this case is permanently laid to rest.
 
“As former Public Access Counselor for the City of Indianapolis, I’m well acquainted with these laws and knew from the outset that this lawsuit was just a ploy to distract from the recent progress our state has made in K-12 education.
 
“That being said, I’ve long been an advocate for improving our access laws and making sure they are evolving in step with technology. I’d welcome a conversation with the Department of Education, the Governor, the Attorney General and the General Assembly about ways lawmakers can improve transparency in government so Hoosiers can see how their tax dollars are being spent.
 
“For now, though, I’m relieved that we can get back to the important work of helping our schools, teachers, parents and students succeed.”

Link to settlement agreement: http://indianalawblog.com/documents/201409031402.pdf 

 
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STATEMENT: At-Large SBOE member Gordon Hendry on NCLB waiver

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2014

At-Large SBOE member Gordon Hendry on Indiana’s NCLB waiver

INDIANAPOLIS — At-Large Indiana State Board of Education member Gordon Hendry issued the following statement in response to news that the U.S. Department of Education has granted the state’s “No Child Left Behind” waiver.

Federal officials placed the state’s waiver on conditional status earlier this year in light of “significant issues” found with Indiana’s monitoring of troubled schools and the implementation of academic standards and evaluations. The waiver allows Indiana schools increased flexibility to spend more than $200 million in federal funding geared toward helping low-income students.

"The school leaders, teachers and families who have been worried about this decision for months can breathe a sigh of relief today that Indiana is not going to lose these funds or our ability to use them flexibly. But let’s be clear: None of this had to happen, and dodging the worst-case scenario in this instance should lead to a stronger partnership with the U.S. Department of Education as we continue to improve Indiana K-12 policy."

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I was delighted to spend three days in Washington, D.C., last month at the NASBE New State Board Member Institute. I heard from top K-12 education leaders and policymakers and got to spend time learning from my fellow State Board members in other states. NASBE executive director Kristen Amundson was kind enough to snap this photo with me! 

I was delighted to spend three days in Washington, D.C., last month at the NASBE New State Board Member Institute. I heard from top K-12 education leaders and policymakers and got to spend time learning from my fellow State Board members in other states. NASBE executive director Kristen Amundson was kind enough to snap this photo with me! 

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