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Indiana schools chief says education changes needed

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State-funded vouchers for private schools and a shift of money to charter schools are necessary steps in the effort to improve Indiana's education system, the state schools superintendent said Tuesday.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, a Republican, told the Senate Appropriations Committee that he thought the state should seize the opportunity to remake its education system at a time when neighboring states are facing school funding cuts.

Democratic committee members questioned Bennett whether traditional schools would be weakened by loss of students and funding, and a teachers union official argued many details were lacking on impact of the proposed changes backed by Bennett and Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Gail Zeheralis of the Indiana State Teachers Association said the group was worried about increasing pressure on schools when the proposed state budget would cut funding by more than 5 percent for 40 of the state's nearly 300 districts.

"Now we are invoking, sort of artificially, new pressures on the system that could use some stability," she said. "There are going to be a slew of districts that will really feel a lot of pain."

The Republican-controlled Senate committee started public hearings this week on the new state budget, even though a plan hasn't been approved by the House because of the month-long boycott by Democrats. The plan approved by the GOP-led House Ways and Means Committee would keep school funding at current levels, but cuts of about $450 million, or about 3 percent, over the last two years by Daniels wouldn't be restored.

Sen. Lindel Hume, D-Princeton, asked why so many proposals that would splinter funding from traditional schools were being pushed rather than finding ways to improve all schools. Sen. John Broden, D-South Bend, argued that school districts struggling with large numbers of students from poor families would be hardest hit by both loss of children to other school options and funding cuts.

Bennett countered that greater competition would spur improvement by school districts and lead to better opportunities for students.

"I don't believe these are distractions," Bennett said. "I don't believe that the children in Gary believe that high-quality charter options are a distraction."

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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