THE INDIANA SMALL AND RURAL SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION BELIEVES:
-In the leadership of Local School Boards made up of engaged citizens closest to the school represent the most invested groups properly suited to guide the operation of the local school district while making important decisions involving budgets, leadership, curriculum, shared services, cooperative agreements, district organization, and district improvement. (Local Control)
-The 2023 State Budget and Policies should place Indiana in the top three in student expenditures in the Midwest based on local, state, and federal funding.
-The Indiana General Assembly should fully fund new laws and administrative code mandates that require the addition of staff for a specific state-mandated program, supplementary staff training time, or specific school security procedures and equipment and document the impact on school districts’ local financial resources. (Unfunded Mandates)
-All Redevelopment Commissions formed in Indiana should include an appointed non-compensated school board member or school board member designee as a voting member representing any school district located wholly or partly within the unit.
-The General Assembly should NOT expand voucher funding for general education or the Indiana Education Scholarship Account Program that incentivizes the withdrawal of students from public schools to access a paid benefit.
THE INDIANA SMALL AND RURAL SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION SUPPORTS:
- Legislation and public policy requiring all Indiana schools receiving public funds be required to meet and report the same operational, accountability requirements, academic, and rigorous legal standards while being held to the same equal access requirements public schools are required to follow.
- Increasing Special Education Excess Cost (SEEC) Funding by ten million per year to supplement the costs of residential placements, day programs, and specialized one-on-one instructional assistants.
- Amendment the Indiana Code on Discussions (changes recommended in bold and underlined) -IC 20-29-6-8 Contract, agreement, or concession not required Sec. 8. The obligation to discuss does not require either party to enter into a contract, agree to a proposal, continue to repeatedly discuss the topic, or make a concession related to the items listed in section 7 of this chapter, A failure to reach an agreement on a matter of discussion does not allow the use of any part of the impasse procedure under IC 20-29-8.
- Reinstatement of the small schools grant to help cover the costs of the Pathways, add school counselors, and increase teacher pay.
- The expansion of rural broadband funding, and we support public-private partnerships that reach the last mile.
- Increases in preschool funding. Early Literacy Starts before Kindergarten. Indiana is last in the nation on Pre-School funding.
- Remove the mandate for continued data collection and inclusion of post-secondary benchmarks in the Evaluation Dashboard. The data produced has no real information for schools to use that is not already available.
- The Indiana General Assembly needs to make structural improvements to how virtual schools are administered.
-Students facing truancy charges should not be allowed to transfer to a virtual school or homeschool until attendance improves.
-Parents up for educational neglect charges should not be allowed to transfer their children to a virtual school or homeschool until attendance improves.
-Entities documented to have provided intentionally fraudulent student data should have their accreditation as a school and ability to receive state funding revoked.
-Full-time virtual schools should submit different DOE-AT data documenting students with no LMS activity on a particular school day as an absence equating to an attendance event or absence.