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Indiana Blog

IPS parents receive the gift of empowerment this holiday season


The largest Stand University for Parents (Stand UP) class yet is scheduled to graduate this Saturday morning at Crispus Attucks.  Fifty-three IPS parents, grandparents and adult siblings completed six weeks of courses to learn how to better support the academic success of the children in their lives and build meaningful partnerships with their child’s school leaders. 

Graduates will share their stories of how the program has empowered them to change their own lives, as well as make changes to support all IPS students. 

Deadline looms for pre-k pilot program


Residents in four pilot counties are facing a looming deadline if they want their children to participate in a free pre-kindergarten program. Those who live in Marion, Allen, Lake and Vanderburgh counties and want to take part must have their applications received by today, December 15.

City leaders should be applauded for investing in quality preschool


Tonight’s vote by the Indianapolis City-County Council to give the city’s most at-risk kids access to early education is a great show of bipartisanship that should be applauded, according to leaders from Stand for Children Indiana.

The council voted 19-8 to approve a $40 million investment to expand preschool access to as many as 1,300 low-income children starting in 2016. The compromise plan was shaped by Democratic council leadership, working with Mayor Greg Ballard’s administration.

New IPS Board Members Host Listening Sessions


The first of three community input sessions with newly-elected IPS Board members will be held tonight.   Mary Ann Sullivan, Kelly Bentley and LaNier Echols will each hold a meeting to answer questions about the future of the school district and to listen to ideas from the public about the direction the board should take.  The three were elected in November and will take office in January.

At-Large Incoming Board Member Mary Ann Sullivan hosts the first session tonight at 5 p.m. at Indy Reads, which is located at 911 Massachusetts Ave. 

Rally to expand preschool access in Indy


A plan to expand preschool access faces a critical test on December 1.   The full Indianapolis City-County Council is expected to take a vote on the compromise $40 million plan when it meets at 7 p.m. that night.   The proposal would provide pre-k access to more than 1,000 low-income preschoolers each year.  

Lessons learned from recent IPS changes


After any major project or decision, it’s always a good idea for organizations to step back and assess what went well and what didn’t. After the Shortridge/Gambold move that was approved this week by the IPS board, I hope the district is taking time to do this sort of self-reflection and establish some of the lessons that were learned.

After attending the IPS board meeting on Tuesday, there were a lot of positive takeaways that I noted, but also some key areas where improvement is needed.

Stand Indiana praises committee for preschool progress


Stand Indiana is hopeful that the full Indianapolis City-County Council will vote December 1 to approve a $40 million plan to expand preschool access to the city’s neediest children.

A bipartisan committee approved the compromise plan last night.  It would provide high-quality preschool for as many as 1,300 children starting in 2016. 

Election signals new day in IPS


It’s a new day for IPS after voters indicated that they want to see significant improvements in the city’s largest school district.

At-Large candidate Mary Ann Sullivan and district candidates Kelly Bentley and LaNier Echols all successfully defeated incumbents to win seats on the IPS School Board. The three were endorsed by Stand for Children Indiana’s parent members and supported by an independent campaign run by Stand’s advocacy organization.  

Stand for Children Indiana: Teachers and students harmed by shameful vote by IPS Board


Last night’s vote by the IPS School Board to back away from a high-quality teacher leadership program aimed at turning around three low-performing schools will ultimately harm nearly 1,500 of the district’s most vulnerable children, according to Stand for Children Indiana’s Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller.

Pre-K deadline extended, Stand Indiana requests Governor reconsider grant decision


Stand for Children Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller released the following statement today:

“It is our understanding that the deadline for the federal preschool grant application has been extended through October 22. We respectfully request that Governor Pence revisit his decision to not apply for this grant, which could yield nearly $80 million in funding to expand access to quality preschool for thousands of low-income Hoosier children.