School Climate & Safety

Indiana to Scrutinize New School Projects

By Joetta L. Sack — August 30, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Want to build a new school in Indiana? Be prepared for more paperwork.

Indiana school districts will have to provide more documentation to the state before getting approval to build new schools. The rules, which went into effect this summer, came after Gov. Mitch Daniels questioned whether some districts were building grandiose athletic fields and facilities at the expense of more academically oriented programs.

Gov. Daniels, a Republican, put a moratorium on new school projects last winter, which was lifted when the new regulations were put in place.

The Hoosier State will use construction data from F.W. Dodge, a construction research group, as a starting point for evaluating costs. State officials will mainly look at the average national cost for school facilities, giving Indiana districts leeway of up to about 10 percent before investigating possible excessive spending.

In addition to considering the average cost per square foot, the state will look at factors such as academic plans and anticipated use by other groups, said Kathryn Densborn, a spokeswoman for Indiana’s department of local government finance. She said that the average cost range was not an absolute, and that districts could receive exemptions.

“We’re not asking for any additional information that a school corporation wouldn’t already have,” she said.

Some district leaders dislike the state’s requirement for approval, given that all school construction money comes from local bond issues and revenues.

“If a local community wants to have a nice football field, why should the state of Indiana get involved?” said Dennis Costerison, the executive director of the Indiana Association of School Business Officials.

He noted that communities have a safeguard that allows property owners to petition to stop school construction bonds if they believe a project is excessive. He said it was not clear whether the new rules would be a major burden.

Mr. Costerison added that educators were perplexed at Gov. Daniels’ insistence that education funds be spent on “instruction, rather than construction,” given that the money comes from separate sources and can’t be mingled.

“In reality there are going to have to be some major law changes for that to happen,” he said.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety How a Superintendent Urged Parents to Discuss Gun Violence With Their Kids
The leader of the school district that serves Monterey Park, Calif., encouraged parents not to "let the TV do the talking."
5 min read
A woman comforts her son while visiting a makeshift memorial outside Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif., Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Authorities searched for a motive for the gunman who killed multiple people at the ballroom dance studio during Lunar New Year celebrations.
A woman comforts her son while visiting a memorial outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif., two days after a gunman killed 11 people and injured several others as they celebrated Lunar New Year.
Jae C. Hong/AP
School Climate & Safety Guidance on Responding to Students' Questions About Shootings
A guide for educators on ways to foster a sense of safety and security among students at a time when gun violence seems widespread.
4 min read
People gather for a vigil honoring the victims of a shooting several days earlier at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, in Monterey Park, Calif. A gunman killed multiple people late Saturday amid Lunar New Year's celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community.
Two days after a mass shooting that killed 11 people, people gather for a vigil outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif. In the aftermath of shootings and other community violence, educators are called on to help students process their emotions and help them feel safe.
Ashley Landis/AP
School Climate & Safety Many Schools Don't Have Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Are They Overlooking the Risk?
Less than a quarter of states have laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors in school buildings.
5 min read
Image of a carbon monoxide detector with a blurred blueprint in the background.
iStock/Getty
School Climate & Safety Students of Color Disproportionately Suffer From Police Assaults at School, Says Report
A new report tallies up assaults by school-based police officers on students of color.
6 min read
Deputy Carroll walks the hall of Rice Elementary School with an administrator on Wednesday.
A school police officer walks the halls of Rice Elementary School in Greenwood, S.C., with an administrator on April 6, 2022.
Lindsey Hodges/The Index-Journal via AP