July 6, 2020
Class is in session and Money Monday is the topic of the day. This month we’re highlighting the expansive reach the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has across the State of Indiana and how your tax dollars play a role in shaping the future of our children.
Let’s start with the overview and break it down. IDOE leads the state’s K-12 school systems by providing guidance and support to over 2,200 urban, suburban and rural schools. So how many kids are in those classrooms? Over 1.1 million! A lot of work and planning goes into creating an educational and safe space for our kids.
IDOE uses state funds for all aspects of running a school: instructional and operational. Your money is going a long way to shape our future!
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about funding schools is paying teachers and school administrators. IDOE and schools also offer so many programs for our students, while we can’t name them all, we can highlight a few of the programs impacting hundreds of thousands of students.
Ensuring Special Education Students Get a Great Education
Equal access to learning is the goal for all students in special education, which means guaranteeing students have necessary and individualized services and the support to meaningfully participate in the general education curriculum. The Best Buddies Program is part if this effort in helping students with intellectual and developmental disabilities create meaningful relationships with their peers and secure successful careers.
Creating Computer Science Programs For All Students
Governor Holcomb and the Indiana General Assembly have made computer science education a high priority by requiring every school to incorporate computer sciences in the school’s curriculum for students in K-12 by 2021. IDOE began by spearheading professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers centered around supporting those educators as they bring high quality computer science experiences to the classroom and their students.
The State of Indiana is offering and funding a variety of professional development opportunities through a partnership with the following five professional development providers:
- CodeHS (Grades 9-12)
- IndianaComputes! (Grades K-12)
- Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing (Grades 9-12)
- Nextech (Grades K-12)
- Project Lead The Way (Grades 6-12)
Making Sure Students Stay Healthy
IDOE’s School Health Team is dedicated to supporting the physical, mental and emotional health and well-being of students, which IDOE believes is directly related to academic and life-long success. The School Health Team’s main goal is to provide resources and technical assistance to schools, parents and community partners. The team also creates resources for school nurses, information on current health issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and more.
Keeping Our Schools Safe
IDOE oversees the School Safety Specialist Academy, who does a lot of work for our schools by providing ongoing, certified training and information on national and state best practices of safety. In addition to safety, the academy provides school resources for security, intervention/prevention and emergency preparedness planning.
IDOE has so many funding efforts like early learning, dual language immersion, advanced placement, school bus training and social, emotional and behavioral wellness. There’s no way we can list everything IDOE does. Considering all the programs and resources offered, it’s no surprise that over half the state’s annual budget goes to education. That’s incredible!
While we have your attention, let’s give a huge shout out to our teachers, school administrators and IDOE for stepping up for the challenge the COVID-19 pandemic provided. They are going above and beyond to adapt and continue education for our students during this pandemic.
Want to learn more about IDOE? Visit their website at www.in.gov/doe.