Rise & Shine: Sen. Joe Donnelly will oppose Betsy DeVos

BIG ELECTION, BIG MONEY: Critics of the current Indianapolis Public Schools administration didn’t win any seats on the IPS board in the November election. But in an odd twist, it was one of those challengers who received the largest single donation. We covered that and all the cash that candidates raised in the race.

RESTART … FRESH START? Superintendent Lewis Ferebee released his plan for three long-struggling Indianapolis schools last night, and it looks like the district may slow the expansion of innovation schools. The administration only recommended restarting one of the schools.

SHOWING UP: It turns out, the key to school is being there. Students who are chronically absent from school are more likely to have academic problems and less likely to graduate from high school. Indianapolis Public Schools is joining districts from across the country in a push to improve attendance.

BILL WATCHLIST: More than 100 bills were filed concerning education in this year’s General Assembly, but no need to fret — we’ve narrowed them down to 28 we’re going to be paying the most attention to. Testing, teacher pay, vouchers and preschool make an appearance. See the whole list here.

TWO HOOSIERS HEAD SOUTH: Former Tindley Accelerated Schools leader Marcus Robinson was hired last summer to head the Memphis Education Fund in Tennessee, and now, two more Hoosiers are set to join his staff.

SWEETHEART DEALS? Turkish lawyers have filed a complaint with the Chicago Public Schools’ Inspector General against a charter group that has campuses in Chicago as well as Indiana. The complaint alleges the group has engaged in “sweetheart deals” that benefit the group’s controversial Turkish-born leader at the expense of taxpayers. In Indiana, the group is affiliated with Indiana Math and Science Academy North, Indiana Math and Science Academy West and Indiana Math and Science Academy South. Read more about the complaint here.

PUSH FOR PRE-K: Educators, lawmakers and preschool advocates from across the state gathered Wednesday to support the expansion of the state’s preschool program, currently being considered in several bills this session. Republicans lawmakers have so far taken a conservative approach, some calling for $20 million per year for the program, falling short of the $50 million other advocates have proposed. Read more about the rally from The Statehouse File.

SENATOR SPEAKS: Indiana U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, has said he will oppose Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of education. Find that story in the