Claire McInerny

StateImpact Reporter
Brad Flickinger /

Ian Fernandez and his mom, Karen, sit at their kitchen table going over his math assignment for the night.

Fernandez is a fifth grader at Child’s Elementary School in Bloomington, and his math worksheet is something most of us would recognize; lists of number expressions looking for solutions, or diagrams of shapes with labeled edges that help students find the area and perimeter.

Ian is comfortable doing these problems but then I show him and Karen some practice questions for this year’s fifth grade math ISTEP.

At the beginning of each school year, families in Indiana’s public schools are hit with bills that include activity fees, class fees and the largest line item- textbook fees. Textbook rental fees cost parents on average about $100 per child.

Frustrating to most parents is the knowledge that Indiana is one of only eight states that charge for textbooks.

That is why state superintendent Glenda Ritz announced earlier this month that she wants to eliminate this financial burden for families.

A&M-Commerce /

The Commission for Higher Education this week is planning a communication campaign to convince Hoosiers with some college credit but no college degree to go back to school. That description applies to more than seven hundred thousand people across the state.

Bill Shaw / WTIU News

Increasingly around the state and country, the first day of school is getting earlier with some districts starting the first week of August. Research supports earlier start dates, saying it increases student retention by giving them less time over the summer to forget important information. Outside of the education community though, seasonal businesses feel the effects of the absence of free time for students during traditional summer months.

It’s not year-round school, it’s a balanced calendar