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[r29] Column: A new school year is just around the corner
Start Date: 7/23/2014 All Day
End Date: 7/23/2014
Entry Description
A new school year is just around the corner

As I walked around the fair last week, looking at the displays and incredible works of art, I was amazed by how gifted and talented the students in our community are. All the exhibits were so enjoyable to see, and I want to thank everyone who participated. The 4-H program in Hamilton County remains strong, and I thank them for their dedication.

With the fair over and Aug. 4, just around the corner, summer vacation is winding down and a new school year is almost here. I always loved the start of school; the excitement, a fresh start, teachers preparing for their classrooms and students eagerly anticipating reuniting with their friends. 

With the balanced calendar, the school year begins with the summer weather still in full-swing, but back to school season is always an exciting time for everyone. The administration is working hard to make sure everything is ready to go for opening day, and this year is a real challenge with the various building and remodeling projects going on at the various schools. 

In preparation for the upcoming school year, many students have participated in reading programs and summer camps this year, challenging their abilities. As these great programs come to a close, I applaud those who continued their commitment to developing and learning even while school was not in session.

Similar to these students, while the legislative session is over, lawmakers remain busy during the summer months by serving on interim study committees. These committees lay the groundwork for the legislative session. In fact, in my column two weeks ago, I mentioned some of the new laws we passed to benefit families in our community, and many of these laws came from discussions we had during these committee meetings last summer.

This year, one topic of discussion that I am very interested in is an in-depth review of Indiana’s early education model by the Interim Study Committee on Education. Finding ways to improve our education system has always been a top priority, and all of Indiana’s students deserve access to the highest-quality education possible, especially during their early stages in life. 

Before this year, Indiana was one of 10 states that did not offer a state-funded preschool program. This session, through House Enrolled Act 1004, we established a preschool pilot program for many Hoosier students across Indiana. This law also created a study commission which will begin reviewing the economic benefits of Pre-K and early learning programs over the next four months. While in Hamilton County, many can secure a pre-school program for their children; that is not the case all over the state.

Since education is the largest portion of our state budget, it is something that is a very high priority for the Legislature, and the success of our students and our state depends on it. By helping to prepare students for school earlier in life, they will be less likely to fall behind later. 

Looking at this issue more in-depth this summer, I am pleased we can continue to look for ways to provide more opportunities for Indiana’s education system to better prepare our students for the future. Early education is just one of many topics my colleagues and I will look at, but since it is so important to our community and state, I encourage you to follow the Education Committee or attend these meetings if possible. 

For those of you unable to attend these meetings, but are still interested in following along with the discussions and debates, you can watch a live broadcast of the meetings on our website. As soon as the times and dates of committees are scheduled, which some already are, the meetings will be posted on the calendar here:  www.in.gov/legislative/.

I know it seems like the summer months went by really fast, but I hope you have had a great summer vacation and are looking forward to the start of new school year. I want to thank all of the teachers in our community for their dedication as they prepare Hoosiers students for their next phase in life. Many have attended conferences, workshops, sharing the best of practices, and our state could not be successful without their hard work.

With the new school year, I hope everyone has a great year, so let the learning begin!

-30-

Representative Kathy Kreag Richardson (R-Noblesville)
Contact Information:
Name: Ben Gavelek
Phone: 317-232-9831
Email: ben.gavelek@iga.in.gov
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Entry Category:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Education & Training
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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