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Logansport Pharos Tribune (Newspaper) - January 16, 2017, Logansport, IndianaA vow. Phalos Tribune editorial Board Robyn Mccroskey regional publisher Kevin Burkett editor Kim Dixon general manager Beau Wicker sports editor a Page designed by Kelly Hawes pharos Tribune a4 monday january 16, 2017weekly wrap excerpts of recent editorials from Indiana newspapers support students instead of boasting two new reports should guide Indiana lawmakers As they determine education spending in the next two year budget a detailed analysis of equity in funding Public schools by Indiana University researchers finds state funding has increased on a per student basis since it bottomed out in 2012 but also finds that fluctuating enrolment in Many traditional Public school districts resulted in lower state support in 2017 than in 2009 even in current Dollar weeks annual Quality counts Survey of state education performance ranks Indiana 34th in the nation for school funding. And since lawmakers like letter grades they should know the Survey gives them an a of on financial support for schools. Legislative leaders responsible for writing the school funding formula including sen. Luke Kenley a Noblesville understand the Challenge involved. Allocating education dollars is not As simple As dividing available funds by the number of students in Indiana. The state has a responsibility to educate All children including those who have severe disabilities come from impoverished Homes or speak English As a second language. Kenley and others have been committed to steering More dollars to schools with higher need students. Still there Are unmet needs. The states complexity Index used to determine which schools require More resources does no to account for English language learners. Kathy Friend chief financial officer for fort Wayne Community schools said the District receives less than a million from the state and Federal government for Ell students requiring it to spend $4.7 million of its general fund Money for teachers and interpreters language instruction programs. Nearly 2,300 students about 8 percent of fecs enrolment Are Ell students. Both the study by the Center for evaluation amp education policy at in Bloomington and the education week analysis give Indiana Strong Marks for equity in funding the degree to which similar districts receive comparable funding. The in report concludes the current funding formula improved equity Between 2009 and 2017, while the Quality counts Survey ranks Indiana ninth Best in the nation on that measure. But the education week assessment along with a note of caution in the in study puts Overall funding in perspective with the latter acknowledging it can to answer How much Money is the Correct amount for students from Low income families. A it it important to keep in mind that the methods used to assess intended equity cannot answer questions related to Overall adequacy of funding a writes author Thomas. Sugimoto. A an adequacy study to determine if funding is sufficient to provide an adequate education is therefore warranted adjusted for regional Cost differences. Indiana spends $11,087 per student according to education week. The National average is $12,156. Michigan Illinois and Ohio All spend More per Pupil than the National average. Most Indiana legislators ignore the Bottom line by pointing to the percentage allocated to education with a tiresome chorus of a More than half the states budget goes to that a by design. In 2008, the general Assembly raised the Indiana sales tax rate by 17 percent to shift All school general fund costs from local property taxpayers to the state. A permanent $300 million reduction in school funding a year later went unnoticed by almost everyone but school officials. The state also began picking up tuition payments for an Ever growing number of students who never attended a Public school about 17,000 last year. Instead of boasting of record increases in school funding legislators need to take an honest look at their support for Indiana students beginning with the objective analysis offered in the two studies. A the fort Wayne journal Gazette make significant investment in future two years ago gov. Mike Fence declared the Start of the a education but by that sessions end it had become known nationally known for something else entirely the religious Freedom restoration Actis the legislative session kicks off this week lawmakers have the Opportunity and the duty to attend to the serious issues surrounding education in the Hoosier state. They can demonstrate their commitment by starting at the very foundation and addressing a Long overdue need to expand prekindergarten. There a widespread agreement finally on the value of Prek programs that prepare a child academically and socially for the school years ahead. Now its time for lawmakers to begin expanding the states current Pilot program which serves Only a Small fraction of Indiana children and none in St Joseph and Elkhart counties we might add. The program does no to come close to meeting the overwhelming demand helping about 4 percent of the states 4-year-Olds fewer than 2,800 children. Initial proposals from Republican legislators Are focused on modest increases to the Pilot program. One lawmaker proposes doubling the Pilot by providing $20 million per year allowing children in five More counties to apply for state Aid House speaker Brian Bosma talks about expanding the program to an additional 5,000 students. Such proposals done to sit Well with those who want the state to commit Long term funding for prekindergarten education. Ann Murtlow ceo of the United Way of Central Indiana told the Indianapolis Star this week that the state needs to move beyond a Pilot to do that lawmakers should commit at least $50 million per year to Prek says Murtlow Leader of a coalition that advocates for a funding boost Given that Indiana was one of the last states to begin investing in preschool it will take some time to reach every Hoosier child. And the goal is High Quality preschool programs that meet certain academic standards critical for a student to see Long term benefits from Prek attendance. As lawmakers consider figures in this budget session they should keep these numbers in mind from a report issued by the Indiana Happy babies brain Trust As they weigh the costs of Prek there Are More than 250,000 infants and toddlers in Indiana of those 65 percent Are in families where they require care outside the Home because they live in families where All parents Are in the labor Force. However there Are Only 24,551 High Quality slots available for infants and toddlers which is just enough for 15 percent even the most optimistic done to expect this year s general Assembly will expand Quality Prek statewide. But in this budget year its critical that the state invest in the future with a significant expansion of Prek. A South Bend Tribune Weug or Gigg can a Hoosie mess repair Democrat party Indianapolis South bends progressive democratic mayor Pete Buttigieg is Miles apart politically from the states former conservative Republican governor vice president elect Mike Pence. But the two hoosiers share what political observer Andy Downs Calls a a midwestern politeness that May have lasting Impact on their respective parties. The even keeled Pence appears to already be tempering the Impact of his volatile running mate. President elect Donald Trump. Or he sat least playing what in no a Eric Bradner a former Indiana statehouse reporter describes As the role of a a fixer with republicans on Capitol Hill. Buttigieg a aspirations Are to fix the democratic party and keep it from stumbling Back into the mistakes of the past marked most recently by the divisive Intra party nomination fight Between former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton who lost to Trump in november and Vermont sen. Bernie Sanders. Earlier this month Buttigieg 34, officially entered what is now a six Way contest to become the next chairman of the democratic National committee. Downs director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana politics Calls him the a Long shot candidate in a race dominated by labor Secretary Thomas Perez a Clinton supporter and . Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota a Sanders Man. Buttigieg a decision to jump into the fray Wasny to much of a Surprise. In november Post election Buttigieg wrote an impassioned essay for the online site , titled a a letter from flyover in it he argued that democrats now at their lowest numbers in statehouse and governors mansions since the 1920s, should turn away from Washington As they plot their comeback. Maureen Hayden state of the statehouse Buttigieg started the letter with some Hoosier Charm instructing readers How to pronounce his maltese surname a most people have trouble profound no my name so they just Call me a mayor he described his current Job. To which he was elected at age 29. As the a Best Job in american because mayors get to focus on a results not Buttigieg would be an interesting Savior for the democrats. A Harvard University graduate Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan War Veteran he was re elected with 80 percent of the vote in his Blue Collar conservative Catholic Hometown last year. That after publicly revealing that he is Gay and has a longtime partner who is a Middle school teacher. Buttigieg a task now is to convince a simple majority of 447 members of the democratic National committee or 224 people to cast their ballots for him. He a been calling visiting and cajoling in recent Days travelling near and far to make his Case publicly and privately to state party leaders and political activists who make up the committee. A a you a be surprised How Many people have said they want a fresh Start Quot Buttigieg said from his South Bend office on a recent morning. A even people who be been there for Buttigieg a personable nature what Downs Calls a Hoosier Ness May be one of his Best assets especially if the pendulum of National political discourse has peaked in terms of nastiness and is swinging Back toward civility. A perhaps the likable Guy is who they re looking for a Downs said. A quite often its the likable Guy who can work with the other Buttigieg likes to say that mayors especially people like him who Are democrats in Republican states can offer insight into How the party can get Back in touch with the a a everyday concerns of most voters. A mayors have an Edge in convincing people that democrats con be Good at governing a he said As opposed to a ten Dency of party leaders to engage in what he terms a ideological a there is no fooling people when you re a mayor a he said. A either the pothole got fixed or it did no to. Either the trash go picked up or it did t. A there is lot less of the kind of nonsense that permeates the National he said. Its not Clear now whether democrats Are ready nationally for that perspective but the next few weeks will be telling National committee members meet in late february to pick their new Leader. Buttigieg says if he wins hell step Down As mayor. Even if Buttigieg does no twin hell have raised his profile in the party significantly. And cast it As hat of a thoughtful Man with a Bright future. A a it a a no lose situation for him a said Downs before jokingly adding a other than do Vou really want to be chairman of the dec a a Maureen Hayden covers the Indiana statehouse for the Canh newspapers and websites. A hillbilly elegy raises provocative questions a Weil i was drunk the Day my mama got out of prison / and i went to pick her up in the rain / but before i could get to the station in my pickup truck / she got runner Over by a damned old a David Allan Coe anybody who can sing the lyrics to what country bad boy David Allan Coe called a the perfect country and Western song probably wont find a whole lot in . Vance a hotly debated bestselling Memoir a hillbilly elegy that a real surprising. Fans of Jeff Foxworth a painfully funny a Tou might be a redneck comedy act will also find Vance a action packed childhood familiar. Like this a if your grandma poured gasoline on grandpa and lit him on fire for coming Home drunk. You might be a a if your Momma brought Home 12 a step fathers in 15 years. A a these things actually happened. Early in life Vance writes a i recognized that though Many of my Peers lacked the traditional american family mine was More non traditional than most no kidding. That said Erskine Caldwell so tobacco Road covered much of the same territory in the 1930s, along with William Faulkner a so a slopes trilogy Quot Larry Browne so Joe Quot and a Hosi of Southern novelists and memoirist too numerous to list the inexhaustible Joyce Carol Oates has chronicled the stunted lives of Yankee Hillbillies for decades. None of which is to diminish Vance a achievement nor to minimize his Success in focusing affectionate yet unsparing attention on the ongoing plight of the poor White appalachian emigrants he Calls his people. American conservative columnist Rod Dreher has written that a hillbilly elegy a does for poor White people what to Nelisi Coates a Book Between the world and me did for poor Black people give them voice and presence in the Public Gene Lyons syndicated columnist some even think Vance helps explain the election of Donald Trump although his political message is distinctly mixed. Either Way a hillbilly elegy is deservedly no. 2 on the new York times nonfiction bestseller list born in Rural Eastern Kentucky Vance was mostly raised by his doting albeit violent grandparents in the decaying Mill town of Middletown Ohio one of those rust Belt communities that lured Southern country Folk to factory jobs that have since moved away often to non Union Southern states like Arkan Sas. I kept thinking of Bobby bares homesick lament a Detroit City a i think ill take my foolish Pride / and put it on a southbound freight and Vance took a less sentimental escape route the . Marines Ohio state University and Yale Law school. Today he lives in san Francisco with his asian american wife and works at a Silicon Valley investment firm. His Memoir shows him to be the King of mixed feelings proud and relieved to have escaped the drug and booze addicted turmoil of his youth yet determined to evoke respect for the loyalty Honor toughness and fierce patriotism of the hillbilly culture Back Home. Like Many Cross cultural migrants Vance has a thin skin seeing condescension everywhere he looks. Of course nobody with a Southern accent needs to search hard in new Haven. Bade in the Day my wife got patronized to her face in academic new England. After she visited her Arkansas parents one haughty col league asked if she was an anthropologist she kept a lot of it from me for fear i might do something crazy. In the Long run its Best to laugh these things off. The world is full of fools. At 31, Vance Isnit there yet even so the portrait he draws of his people is frequently less than admiring. What they hate about president Obama he writes Isnit his race As much As the perception that a nothing about him bears any resemblance to the people 1 admired grow ing up his accent clean perfect Neutral is foreign his credentials Are so impressive that they re As such Obama a a standing rebuke to people like Vance a Hometown Friend who bragged that he quit his Job a because he was sick of waking up Early a but spends time bashing the a Obama Economy on Facebook hence too a birth prism a a mythological construct explaining away the unacceptable truth maybe a lot of your problems Are your own Damn fault Vance thinks that hillbilly Clannis Ness and self pitying pessimism Are personally and politically crippling. A we can to Trust the evening news. We can to Trust our politicians. Our universities the Gateway to a better life Are rigged against us. We can to get jobs. You can to believe these things and Paru Capate Means Giuily in society exactly. Having spent the last decade living on a gravel Road in a Backwoods Arkansas county with even More cows than Hillbillies i can affirm that at their Best there Are no finer neighbors. That said not getting wasted every Day definitely helps. However Vance smother was an addict a an important question for Hillbillies like me a he writes is a How much is momus life her own fault where does blame Stop and sympathy begin a Good question. A Gene Lyons is a columnist for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. He can be reached at email@example.com
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