The governor and Superintendent Tony Bennett appear confident that schools can absorb the cuts without teacher layoffs, but school superintendents sound less confident that teachers and other employees can be spared. That means the cuts could force larger class sizes and push teachers and staff onto the unemployment rolls. Continue reading ‘In the News: Local feedback on gov’s K-12 school cuts’
Archive for December, 2009
Tags: education, Governor Daniels, K-12 education, K-12 funding, Superintendent Tony Bennett, unemployment
Tags: budget, Governor Daniels, Indiana, K-12 funding, Schools, State Board of Education, teacher salaries
The State Board of Education sent a letter to the governor today with guidance for implementing his desired cuts to K-12 funding.
According to the Board’s letter to Governor Daniels, the Department of Education will prepare “a prioritized ‘Citizens’ Checklist’ of cost saving measures for each school corporation, school board, and school community to adopt the list at its January 8, 2010 meeting and provide the list and a framework for an appropriate public inquiry process to school corporations, the business community, and the media.”
Read the Indiana Dept. of Education’s related press release.
Tags: department of wor, unemployment, unemployment insurance
The Indiana Dept. of Workforce Development has announced that the state’s November 2009 preliminary seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for November dropped 0.2% to 9.6%. The U.S. unemployment rate also dropped in November 0.2% to 10.0%.
More employment data from the DWD:
Tags: caucus-audio-video, government spending, jobs, property assessment, property taxes, timezone
We recently hosted our first online question and answer session. A total of 177 questions were submitted and over 13,000 votes were cast. Now members of the Senate Democrats answer the five questions that received the most support.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion! Continue reading ‘Open for Questions: Your top five questions answered’
Tags: Christmas tree, Holidays, Indiana Statehouse, Statehouse holiday decorations, Students
Today at the Statehouse, over 400 Hoosier students gathered to help decorate the Statehouse Christmas tree with their handmade ornaments. Each student brought a book to donate to the Colt’s wives collection for those less fortunate. Indiana’s First Lady, Cheri Daniels, read a story for the children and Colts cheerleaders and Blue were there to celebrate as well. Below are photos from the tree decorating:
Tags: fssa, hybrid, privatization, State Budget Committee
Download the Dec. 15, 2009, FSSA presentation to the Budget Committee here (PDF)
Tags: gaming, Gaming Study Committee, racinos, Rep. Charlie Brown, riverboats
INDIANAPOLIS –State Sen. Earline S. Rogers (D-Gary) says she will introduce legislation in the 2010 legislative session that includes the findings published by this year’s legislative Gaming Study Committee. Rogers’ bill will address tax and regulation of Indiana’s riverboats and horse racing facilities, also known as “racinos.” State Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) will file a companion bill in the House. Continue reading ‘News: (update) Rogers bill would revamp Indiana gaming laws’
Tags: fssa, hybrid, IBM, privatization, State Budget Committee, Ways & Means
The Family and Social Services Administration released a few more details on their plan to pilot a new version of the state’s system for public assistance eligibility determination. Under what is being called a ”hybrid” process by the administration, private contractors will continue to work with clients, but without IBM’s overhead management. The big difference, many hope, will be the return of face-to-face assistance as case workers move back into local offices.
The pilot region will include 10 counties in southwestern Indiana. According to the 12/14/09 FSSA press release:
After considering many different regions, the Vanderburgh Region will be the first to roll-out sometime in January (the exact date will be released in a subsequent announcement). The Vanderburgh region contains Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick counties.
All other counties will remain under the system they currently have. Clients should operate as usual until FSSA announces any changes coming to their county.
A lot of skepticism remains for lawmakers and social services advocates. At a Monday House Ways & Means Committee hearing on HB 1003, the committee heard about the human impact of the modernization’s poor performance. From the AP coverage: Continue reading ‘In the News: Skepticism remains over FSSA privatized “hybrid” plan’
Tags: ARRA, Daniels, federal stimulus, low-income Hoosiers, privatization, Senator Vi Simpson, weatherization
According to a report by the Indy Star published today, the administration’s plan to use private organizations for administering federal weatherization dollars has shown little progress in the first quarter.
Statistics from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which administers the state’s program, show it’s off to a slow start.
The goal to weatherize 2,202 homes by Nov. 30 did not come close to hitting the mark, with only 403 completed. The result? Hundreds of Hoosiers’ homes remain unweatherized as wintry weather settles in, wasting energy and driving up power bills. Nearly 9,000 more homes are expected to be weatherized by May 31.
Local Community Action Programs (CAPs) traditionally manage the program available to low-income Hoosiers, but this year additional administrators were chosen. The changes in how the state traditionally manage the funds prompted review by the federal government, and ultimately caused a delay in the state receiving the stimulus funds.
More from the Indy Star story:
And, critics say, Hoosiers are paying for that now.
“It’s more than disappointing,” Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson, D-Ellettsville, said. “It’s harmful. It does great harm to Hoosiers all over the state of Indiana. We urged this administration to give the federal money to those local agencies who have been successful in the past, who have lots of experience getting the money distributed and getting homes weatherized. The governor insisted on bringing in new contractors and spending the money differently. And it’s failed.”
When the state handed the Indiana Builders Association the biggest share of the $132 million in federal stimulus contracts to weatherize homes, it expected work to be finished on 834 homes by the end of November.
It completed work on three.
In addition to the Indiana builders, the Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, which was awarded a contract for more than $5 million, was supposed to have completed 205 homes. It completed 15.
Some groups — all community action agencies with experience in weatherization and federal programs — have exceeded their goals. The Community Action Program of Western Indiana completed work on 57 homes, three more than its goal of 54 at the end of November. The South Central Community Action Program had completed work on 37 homes at the end of November, one more than its goal of 36. And the North Central Community Action Agency, with a goal of 11 homes, completed work on 12.
View a list [PDF] of weatherization administrators, how much they’ve received and how they’ve met their goals. (File obtained from the IndyStar website.)
Read the administration’s press release announcing the selection of weatherization administrators and the criteria by which they were chosen.
Tags: 193 years, Essay Winner, Indiana, Indiana History, Indiana Statehood Day, Indiana's Birthday, Megan Moran, Senator Tim Lanane, statehouse, What Indiana Means to Me
Today marked Indiana’s 193rd “birthday” and Statehood Day at the Statehouse! Below are a few photos from today’s festivities:
Over 400 Hoosier 4th grade students gathered at the Statehouse today for Indiana’s Statehood Day.
Senator Lanane presents Megan Moran, a 4th-grader from Killbuck Elementary, with a certificate recognizing her 1st place winning essay “What Indiana Means to Me.” Over 2500 students statewide wrote essays for the competition.
Megan Moran reads her essay, “What Indiana Means to Me,” during the ceremony at the Statehouse today in front of hundreds of visiting students, including her classmates from Killbuck Elementary School.