Tag Archives: Education

Indiana State Police Internship Application Deadline Approaching!

9 Dec

The Indiana State Police are currently accepting internship applications for the Spring 2014 semester. Applications must be received by Friday, December 13, 2013.
Designed for college students pursuing a career in law enforcement, the ISP Internship Program is an excellent way to get hands-on experience in law enforcement.

Secretary of State Announces Details of Settlement w/ Teachers Union

3 Dec

INDIANAPOLIS (December 3, 2013) — Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today that her office has finalized a settlement of a federal securities fraud lawsuit for $14 million with the Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA) and the National Education Association (NEA).  The litigation accused ISTA and NEA of defrauding Hoosier schools out of over $27 million. ISTA and the NEA sold health plans with benefits, which were unregistered securities, to 27 school corporations. ISTA and the NEA then used the money from the health plans for their own benefit to cover funding shortfalls and for risky investments, instead of investing on the schools’ behalf as promised. The $14 million settlement will go to the school corporations to compensate for their lost investments.

“In the next ten days, school corporations will see a recovery four years in the making. Teachers and administrators alike can finally put this lawsuit behind them,” said Secretary Lawson. “They will receive 50 cents on the dollar for the money ISTA and NEA misappropriated. We strongly believe our case supported full repayment by ISTA and NEA, but we knew they were willing to spare no expense on endless litigation. This settlement gets these school corporations a much needed, immediate financial boost.”


ISTA offered teachers and other school employees a medical plan that allowed school corporations to invest their excess claim balances to offset future health care costs. The Secretary of State’s complaint alleges that ISTA did not invest the money as promised, but instead used the money to cover significant shortfalls in their long-term disability plan and to invest for ISTA’s own benefit. ISTA continuously issued phony financial statements to schools misrepresenting investment fund balances.

“ISTA took money from one fund to pay claims and cover deficiencies of another, then issued falsified statements to clients to create the illusion of funds,” alleged Secretary Lawson. “This is a classic example of a Ponzi scheme.

“ISTA and the NEA have repeatedly tried to play the victim and have made multiple attempts to dismiss the case. The truth is they intentionally misled those they claim to support and protect to cover their own shortfalls and to invest in risky securities for their own benefit. They have a moral obligation to repay the full amount.”

This litigation was not fought at the taxpayers’ expense.  All legal fees were paid with fines collected from violators of Indiana’s securities laws.  To maximize the recovery to schools, Secretary Lawson waived the right to levy fines against ISTA and the NEA and to seek repayment of attorneys fees.


Gov. Pence, Supt. Ritz Issue Joint Statement

27 Nov



Indianapolis, IN – Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz yesterday agreed to have the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) facilitate a conversation among the members of the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) regarding roles, responsibilities, and the operations of the Board.  Under the leadership of Superintendent Ritz, Indiana re-joined NASBE earlier this year.  Governor Pence and Superintendent Ritz also discussed the Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI).

“I am grateful to the Superintendent for her willingness to work with my administration to address the challenges and opportunities for Hoosier students, teachers and schools. I also appreciate the Superintendent’s willingness to work with members of the Indiana State Board of Education and NASBE to resolve differences that have arisen on the board,” said Governor Pence.

“Since the last meeting of the State Board of Education, I have said that the Governor and I needed to work together directly to address recent issues that have arisen,” said Superintendent Ritz.  “Yesterday’s meeting was a first step towards that goal.  I believe the Governor now has a clearer understanding of my concerns regarding the CECI, but much work remains to be done.”


$9 Million in Grants to Help Schools Improve Safety

11 Nov

INDIANAPOLIS—Surrounded by students and staff at Cedar Elementary School in Avon, today Governor Mike Pence announced more than $9 million in grant funding to local schools and school corporations through the Secured School Safety Grant Program. The Indiana Secured School Safety Board approved the grants.
“The safety of the students, teachers, and administrators in our schools is of the utmost importance to the people of Indiana, and I count it a privilege to distribute these resources to schools across our state,” Governor Pence said. “These grants will allow our public schools and school corporations to add resources that will help secure our schools so they can focus on educating our students.”
The program is a dedicated state grant fund that provides matching grants to school corporations, charter schools, or coalitions of school corporations and/or charter schools applying jointly to:

    Employ a school resource officer (SRO)
    Conduct a threat assessment
    Purchase equipment to restrict access to the school or expedite the notification of first responders.

School corporations, charter schools,or coalitions with an average daily membership (ADM) of at least 1,000 students applied for grants up to $50,000 per year. Eligible entities with an ADM of less than 1,000 students applied for grants of up to $35,000 per year.
**list of schools who have gotten grants by county:

  • Lake County
      Aspire Charter Academy received $12,718
      for school security equipment.
      Crown Point Community School Corporation received $50,000
      for school security equipment.
      Gary Community School Corporation received $25,000
      for school security equipment.
      Hanover Community School Corporation received $27,687.76
      to employ an SRO.
      Lake Central School Corporation received $39,463.50
      for school security equipment.
      Lake Ridge Schools received $50,000
      for security equipment,threat assessment, and employ SRO.
      Lake Station Community Schools received $40,000
      to employ an SRO.
      Merrillville Community Schools received $30,170
      for school security equipment.
      River Forest Community School Corporation received $7,100
      for school security equipment.
      School Town of Highland received $50,000
      for school security equipment.
      School Town of Munster received $30,298.60
      for security equipment and to employ an SRO.
      Thea Bowman Leadership Academy received $15,000
      to employ an SRO.
      Tri-Creek School Corporation received $49,316
      for security equipment and to employ an SRO.
      Whiting School City received $50,000
      for security equipment,threat assessment, an SRO.

    Duneland School Corporation received $35,000
    for security equipment.
    East Porter County School Corporation received $49,549.50
    for school security equipment.
    Neighbors’ New Vistas High School received $35,000
    to employ an SRO.
    Portage Township Schools received $49,658.09
    for school security equipment.
    Porter Township School Corporation received $45,000
    for security equipment and an SRO.

  • Indiana Shows Dramatic Improvement in Education Scores

    8 Nov

    PR News Service

    INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Two years after enacting the
    nation’s most comprehensive set of education reforms, Indiana has jumped to near the
    head of the class in improvement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
    (NAEP), commonly referred to as the Nation’s Report Card.

    According to data released today by the U.S. Department of Education, Indiana
    students’ scale scores increased for fourth- and eighth-grade reading and
    mathematics more than all other states, save for Tennessee. Indiana also ranked
    third in terms of growth from 46th in 2011, if including Washington, D.C., which is
    first this year. Indiana ranked 13th for overall scores, up from 23rd in 2011.

    “This is fantastic news for Indiana’s children and shows school choice is having an
    impact,” said Robert C. Enlow, president and CEO of the Indiana-based Friedman
    Foundation for Educational Choice. “The dramatic increase in scores is not only a
    testament to the hard work of teachers, it is evidence that the comprehensive reform
    package passed in 2011 has stimulated significant improvements that aid children in
    public schools.”

    When including Washington, D.C. in the rankings, fourth-grade students in Indiana
    ranked fourth in growth in both reading and mathematics, with scores increasing from
    221 and 244 to 225 and 249, respectively. Moreover, eighth-grade Hoosiers were
    eighth in growth in reading and 19th in growth in mathematics, with scores
    increasing from 285 and 265 to 288 and 267, respectively. In terms of raw scores,
    the rankings for 2013 are 14th, 4th, 25th, and 18th, respectively.

    “It is clear that increased transparency, accountability, and choice have made a
    difference for Indiana’s children,” added Enlow. “Policymakers should be proud of
    what they accomplished for Hoosier children.”

    Education Board Member Responds to Ritz Lawsuit

    24 Oct

    Gazette Staff



    Dr. Brad Oliver, a member of the Indiana Board of Education who was recently named in the lawsuit by Glenda Ritz, issued the following statement:


    Dear Fellow Indiana Educators,


    For over 20 years, I have enjoyed serving children and working alongside some incredibly talented educators in our State. I trust those who have worked with me over the years, or for whom I had the privilege of teaching as a University professor, will attest to my commitment for being a principled leader — a leader who is highly relational and passionate about finding win-win solutions, especially when facing complex challenges.


    When I first learned that Governor Pence had appointed me to the State Board of Education, I was both honored and encouraged by the opportunity to exhibit even greater influence on our State’s system of education. I have always enjoyed strong bipartisan friendships, particularly among educators, and brought to the role of State Board member a desire to work very closely with Superintendent Ritz. I believe that Superintendent Ritz was sincere when she ran for office about her vision to imagine possibilities and make them happen.


    But instead of celebrating our achievements as a State and imagining new possibilities, some have allowed emotions and political strategy to trump objectivity and productivity. As with any change in leadership, there is always an opportunity for new direction. But there is a right way and a wrong way to go about building support for the change being sought after. If Superintendent Ritz is serious about working to find a way forward, then she needs to build relationships that honor bipartisan cooperation (something not typically achieved through litigation). For the current situation to improve, there must be a recognition of the statutory obligations of the State Board and a desire to leverage the collective strengths of each Board member to achieve her vision.


    Over my 20+ years in education (many of those as a leader), I have always taken pride in helping people find win-win solutions to some very complex problems. I have always respected opposing points of view and I have viewed diversity of thought as a strength, not a threat. The last few days have been incredibly difficult to watch for everyone who is passionate about our profession. I remain committed to do all I can as a State Board member to help us find a way forward, but we will not succeed in resolving this current impasse unless leadership rises above positional levels of authority. Let’s not squander the educational improvements taking place in our State. We have much to celebrate! Let’s honor the resilience of our system of education by working collaboratively to keep what is working and fix what is not. And most importantly, let’s honor and respect each other so we can model for the very children we serve how to be a democratic learning community.


    Dr. Brad E. Oliver

    SBOE Member, 6th Congressional District

    Muncie, Indiana