9 things you need to know about Indiana education

  1. THE AFTERMATH: The shooting that left 17 people dead on Wednesday has elicited both terror and anger — and raised debates that are far from settled about how to keep American students safe. Read more in Chalkbeat.
  2. REFERENDUM: Indianapolis Public Schools is considering asking voters this May for less money than originally planned. The revelation comes in the wake of high-profile criticism of the plan to raise taxes in order to increase school funding by nearly $1 billion over eight years. Read more in Chalkbeat.
  3. VIRTUAL SCHOOLS: Indiana lawmakers made three attempts to tighten up rules for charter schools, but so far, all of them have failed to even get a hearing. Here’s why the state is hesitant to take action, even as prominent Hoosiers are calling for change. Read more from Chalkbeat.
  4. STATE TAKEOVER: A bill concerning state takeover measures in Gary and Muncie school districts is continuing to draw criticism from community members. Today, a mother from Gary gave passionate testimony urging lawmakers to make sure parents are involved in the process. Read more in Chalkbeat, WFYI, the Star-Press, NWI and the Post-Tribune.
  5. DEVOS: Earlier this week, Chalkbeat wrote about U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ recent covert visit to Cold Spring School in Indianapolis — which wasn’t the first time she’s kept her schedule quiet. Here’s how that visit fits in what seems to be a pattern of events closed to the press. Read more in U.S. News & World Report.
  6. NEW CHARTER: A Montessori “micro-school” model too small and too autonomous for traditional accountability measures wants to launch several charter schools in Indianapolis. It received a $250,000 grant from The Mind Trust to work through its challenges. Read more in Chalkbeat.
  7. TESTING: The state threw out test results for every student at a top-rated school in Gary, after officials found a “systematic patterns of irregularities.” Read more in NWI and the Post-Tribune.
  8. VOUCHERS: A religious school in Gary will have to wait to see whether it can enroll new students receiving vouchers after two consecutive years of D ratings. Read more in NWI and the Post-Tribune.
  9. MICHELLE OBAMA: About 300 Indianapolis Public Schools students received free tickets to hear former First Lady Michelle Obama speak this week at a Women’s Fund of Central Indiana event. For many black high school girls, it was an opportunity to hear from a role model who looks like them. Read more in WISH, WTHR and Fox59.

— Shaina Cavazos and Dylan Peers McCoy, reporters