The state has received a three-year extension on its waiver from federal No Child Left Behind provisions. The Indiana State Department of Education says the waiver allows for "more local control and greater flexibility" for how Hoosier schools spend federal funding.
The two-year state budget approved during the legislative session includes $480 million in additional K-12 funding and increased spending for career and technical education.
In a statement, Governor Mike Pence lauded the extension. "The approval of Indiana's waiver maintains the local control of education that school districts, teachers and Hoosier parents have come to expect. The federal Department of Education cites Indiana's innovative, data-driven approaches to implement college and career ready goals for all Hoosier students, including those in low-performing schools. Our commitment to a high quality education for every Hoosier student yields results. Graduation rates are on the rise, ISTEP and end-of-course assessments scores are up, and reading scores continue to show marked improvements. And we'll continue to support high-quality pre-K programs that emphasize early learning so that more kids are prepared to learn on day one of kindergarten."
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says the decision is "welcome news" for Hoosiers and was "particularly excited to see that our Division of Outreach for School Improvement is getting federal recognition for their incredible work. Our Outreach Coordinators work proactively with schools throughout the state on ways to use data to drive school improvement in our lowest performing schools." She added that more than 100 Indiana schools moved out of "failing" status by the state's A-F performance scale.