State Reacts to Education Waiver

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Top state officials are reacting to The U.S. Department of Education's one-year No Child Left Behind waiver. Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says the move will allow for "continued flexibility" in measuring student performance. August 28, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Today, the Indiana Department of Education received word from the United States Department of Education that Indiana has received a waiver from certain aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind law. In addition, all conditions were removed from Indiana's waiver. This will give local schools continued flexibility in how they utilize federal funding and allow more funding decisions to be made at the local level.

In response to this news, Glenda Ritz, Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction issued the following statement:

"On behalf of Indiana's schools, I am incredibly pleased to learn that our waiver request has been granted. This news means that local schools throughout our state will receive much needed flexibility in how they utilize their federal dollars. This waiver extension also will allow Indiana to have continued flexibility in how we measure student performance and growth.

"During my time as Superintendent, we have adopted the highest standards in Indiana history, modernized ISTEP and begun the process to strengthen our accountability system. Additionally, we have put in place a strong and positive grassroots system of outreach and support for Indiana schools. Today's decision by the United States Department of Education validates the work that we have done.

"I want to thank the members of the Indiana Department of Education for the incredible work they did to get this waiver for our schools. I truly appreciate their efforts as they work alongside educators, parents, community leaders and local organizations to meet the needs of Indiana's children.

"I also want to thank Senators Coats and Donnelly, as well as our entire Congressional delegation for their support, as well as leaders in the Statehouse. Finally, I want to thank Secretary Duncan, Assistant Secretary Deb Delisle and the United States Department of Education for their assistance throughout this application process.”

Source: Indiana Department of EducationAugust 28, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Governor Mike Pence released the following statement today regarding the renewal of Indiana’s waiver under No Child Left Behind, which preserves the flexibility school districts need as they decide how to invest millions of dollars in federal education funds.

"I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Education and Secretary Arne Duncan have approved Indiana’s No Child Left Behind waiver request.

"The approval of Indiana’s waiver request is great news for Indiana students and schools. It gives us the ability to maintain local control of how federal education dollars are invested and to maintain the use of Indiana’s A-F school accountability system. The waiver also allows school districts and teachers to educate students in a manner determined by Hoosier educators and families in their local communities.

"Since being elected Governor, I have consistently said that the Hoosier state needs to vigorously protect our commitment to high standards and to an accountability system that upholds those standards. I have also been clear that we need maximum flexibility under the law to develop our academic standards and accountability measures.

"I would like to congratulate Superintendent Ritz and the Indiana Department of Education, members of the State Board of Education and the Education Roundtable, and the many Indiana educators and subject matter experts who contributed to a successful outcome. The collaborative work of all stakeholders involved was instrumental in successfully retaining our waiver.

"Indiana will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Education to address any remaining implementation challenges with respect to school and educator accountability requirements, which were established under state law.

"With this renewed flexibility, our state will work every day to ensure that all Hoosier children have access to a quality school, that good teachers are rewarded, and that struggling schools get the help they need to improve."

Governor Pence spoke with Secretary Duncan on both May 5, 2014, and June 12, 2014, and followed with a letter to the Secretary Duncan on June 13, 2014, to convey Indiana’s need for flexibility and commitment to accountability.

Source: Office of Governor Mike PenceAugust 28, 2014

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma released the following statement:

"I am pleased with the USDOE’s announcement to extend Indiana’s NCLB waiver for another year. This will provide Hoosier schools with much needed flexibility in the use of federal education dollars.

"House Republicans will continue to work together with teachers, administrators, parents and the Department of Education to best serve Hoosier students. We look forward to pursuing our objective of making Indiana’s education system one of the strongest in the nation while preparing our students to compete in a globally dynamic economy."

Source: Indiana House Speaker Brian BosmaAugust 28, 2014

Statement from Senate President Pro Tem David Long

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) made the following statement regarding the renewal of Indiana's No Child Left Behind waiver:

"Today's announcement that Indiana’s No Child Left Behind waiver will be extended through the 2014-2015 school year is good news for Indiana.

"In practical terms, this means more flexibility for local education leaders to make decisions that are in the best interest of their students and communities.

"This flexibility is crucial to the effectiveness and success of local schools across the state. I was pleased to see all of Indiana’s education stakeholders work together over the past few months to see this process reach a successful result."

Source: Office of Senate President Pro Tem David Long