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[Indiana] Teachers’ group wants mandatory kindergarten, trauma-informed care []

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Teachers Association published its 2018 legislative priority list Thursday, calling on lawmakers to make big changes for Hoosier students and schools next year.

The ISTA has 16 wishes for the new year ranging from changing teacher qualifying exams to making kindergarten mandatory.

“We are often accused of complaining about a lot of things but never offering solutions,” ISTA President Teresa Meredith said. “We have really been cognizant of solutions. We believe that educators are the ones who ought to be offering solutions and so we are.”

Meredith explained the lawmakers should adopt the same three priorities ISTA functions with: kids, schools and future. She began by addressing the $9.3 million deficit in the public education budget and called on lawmakers to restore the needed funds.

She also addressed the need to have schools implement trauma-informed care, a kind of counseling that could help change mindsets from “what’s wrong with this child” to “what has happened to this child.”

“You typically think of things like child abuse and neglect, but we’re also looking at things like students who have had parents who have been repeatedly deployed,” she said. “But also the opioid crisis that Indiana is experiencing right now. That is creating an even greater pool of students that we haven’t necessarily had to be superconcerned about in the past.”

[To read the rest of this article by Brenna Donnelly, click here.]

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