Going Out Swinging, McCormick Rolls Out 22-Point Education Agenda for 2019
(INDIANAPOLIS) - State school superintendent Jennifer McCormick is leaving office in 2021, but she's laid out an aggressive agenda for 2019.
Along with her surprise announcement Monday that she won't seek reelection, McCormick rolled out a 22-point legislative agenda for next year, including a second expansion of Indiana's state-funded preschool. She says the slow phase-in is serving just three-thousand students in 20 counties. She emphasizes having the program at all is a step forward, but says the state needs to expand it to reach more at-risk students.
McCormick's also calling for a billion-dollar increase in school funding over the two-year budget -- that's a three-percent increase each year. And she says legislators need to align the I-STAR pre-kindergarten assessment, the third-grade reading test, and the new I-LEARN test which is replacing ISTEP, so that each flows into the next.
The superintendent also wants to extend school-safety requirements to charter schools and private schools which accept state vouchers. Traditional public schools are already required to hire a school safety specialist, draw up a safety plan, and hold drills. McCormick says the same requirements should apply to any school receiving tax dollars, public or private. And although it's not part of her announced agenda, McCormick told reporters the same principle should prohibit those schools from denying admission to gay students, or from firing employees for being gay. The issue has gained prominence after Catholic-run Roncalli High School suspended a guidance counselor after learning of her same-sex marriage.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)