Repeal ban on in-state tuition for undocumented students

So much bad stuff happened in the 2011 session of the Indiana General Assembly that it was hard to keep up. Truly egregious legislation was passed and signed into law without much attention.

Case in point: House Enrolled Act 1402, a simple law with only the following language: “An individual who is not lawfully present in the United States is not eligible to pay the resident tuition rate that is determined by the state educational institution.”

A companion measure, Senate Enrolled Act 590, included a ban on local or state government making “a postsecondary education award, including a scholarship, a grant, or financial aid,” to undocumented students.

The laws are still on the books. It’s way past time to repeal them.

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School board was right to reject metal detectors

The Monroe County Community School Corp. board in Bloomington, Indiana, deserves a ton of credit for its brave and correct decision to reject an offer of free metal detectors from the state.

In the midst of a panic over school shootings, including the shooting of a teacher and student last spring at a Noblesville middle school, nearly every school district in Indiana jumped at Gov. Eric Holcomb’s offer of free metal detectors. The MCCSC board said no, and for good reasons.

“I think that just the fact that we have these, whether or not we ever use them, diminishes the good feelings our parents and our kids have in our schools,” board member Jeannine Butler said.

That’s exactly right. Parents and students want schools to be safe, but they also want them to be warm, welcoming places, not “hardened” targets that resemble prisons or detention centers. What message does it send if a school acts as if everyone who enters the door is a potential killer?

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Indiana dean’s book recounts clash with state superintendent

Gerardo Gonzalez’s “A Cuban Refugee’s Journey to the American Dream” is an inspiring account of the transformative power of education and hard work. It tells the deeply personal story of how Gonzalez grew from a shy, bullied child to a successful scholar and university administrator.

Gonzalez, dean emeritus of the Indiana University School of Education, left Cuba with his family at age 11 and struggled as a Spanish-speaking immigrant in a strange land. An uninspired student, he enrolled in community college on a lark, fell in love with learning and went on to a stellar career.

In the book, he is generous with praise for the family, friends and mentors. Only two figures appear as adversaries: Fidel Castro and Tony Bennett.

Bennett, the Indiana superintendent of public instruction from 2009 to 2013, clashed with Gonzalez over a proposal called REPA, Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability. The superintendent and his allies wanted to rewrite teacher certification requirements to require more college credits in subject areas like math and let some teachers become licensed without studying education.

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