Our Indiana Schools

Listening to parents, teachers and students across Indiana

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Indiana State Board of Education members ask Governor to reconsider applying for pre-K funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2014
 
Indiana State Board of Education members ask Governor to reconsider applying for pre-K funding
 
INDIANAPOLIS — Two members of the Indiana State Board of Education today asked Gov. Mike Pence to reconsider his decision not to apply for up to $80 million in federal funding to expand access to high-quality early childhood education for Indiana families.
 
At-Large SBOE member Gordon Hendry, who lives in Indianapolis, and Tony Walker, who represents Indiana’s First Congressional District in Northwest Indiana, issued the following statement:
 
"Given that the deadline has been extended for Indiana to apply for up to $80 million in funding for early childhood education, we respectfully call on Governor Pence to reconsider his decision and submit Indiana’s application by tomorrow’s deadline. We are concerned that not pursuing these funds will leave low-income families across the state and especially in urban areas without access to high-quality pre-K programs.
 
"We appreciate and support the Governor’s ongoing commitment to expanding quality pre-K options for Hoosier families, and we understand concerns about our students being unduly burdened, but Indiana cannot compete for this funding if we do not submit an application."
 
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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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