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The week ahead
Common Core hearing: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Senate Chambers, Indiana Statehouse

Common Core costs under scrutiny

An interim study committee of the General Assembly continues its look at the Common Core State Standards this week – specifically, at the costs involved.

House Bill 1427 was the compromise legislation enacted in response to a move to pull out of the controversial national standards.

Indiana is four years into implementation of the standards. It now must decide to proceed or develop its own standards. The latter option will require verification from higher education institutions that the new standards meet required “college and career ready” standards under No Child Left Behind.

Indiana’s Office of Management and Budget prepared a 43-page fiscal analysis. It identifies costs associated with professional and curriculum development, textbooks, technology and – the greatest expense – testing. Indiana spent $34.3 million on ISTEP+ and end-of-course assessments last school year. The study estimates 2014-15 testing costs ranging from $46.9 million to $57.4 million, depending on what course lawmakers choose.

Youth conference

The 24th annual Conference on Youth is Thursday at Memorial Coliseum, with hundreds of youth and family professionals expected. The conference, sponsored by Allen Superior Court’s Family Relations Division, is designed to help agencies and organizations serving youth. The keynote speaker is Lt. Col. David Grossman. He has trained professionals in school safety in all 50 states and more than a dozen foreign nations.

Budget review

City Council members begin review of selected budgets on Tuesday, with debate on proposed cuts set for Oct. 15. The usual controversy over cost-cutting isn’t expected because the $147 million spending plan follows months of study and debate over a tax increase earmarked for public safety, roads, parks and other infrastructure. Those talks already produced $5 million in cuts.

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