6 things you should know about Indiana education

SCHOOL FUNDING: Indianapolis Public Schools is expecting a deficit for the third year in a row next year, and leaders say that in order to pay the bills, they may soon ask taxpayers for more money. If IPS decides to have a referendum, it will be in good company. Three Northwest Indiana school districts have decided to ask voters to approve tax increases for school funding in the May 2 special election. More from the Post-Tribune.

STUDENT PROTECTIONS: Like Indianapolis Public Schools did last week, Logansport has come out with a plan to try to offer protection to immigrant students who might be fearful of deportation as a result of recent executive orders from President Donald Trump. WLFI has more.

STATE SUPERINTENDENT: Stories this weekend from the Journal Gazette, Associated Press, and The Statehouse File shed light on the surprising Senate vote last week to kill a bill that would make the state superintendent appointed rather than elected — a move that also puts a similar House bill in jeopardy. A few small changes could give the concept new life, Senate President David Long said on Friday.

LEAD CONCERNS: According to the Associated Press, the Indiana Finance Authority is creating a program where any public school in the state could elect to have free testing of its drinking water for lead contamination.

BUDGET PASSES HOUSE: Lawmakers in the Indiana House approved, 68-29, the first draft of the state’s next two-year budget today. The plan has been criticized by House Democrats for not providing enough new funding to education, while Republicans say K-12 schools have consistently been a top priority, even in a year when state revenue is limited. Read more on today’s vote from the Journal Gazette and more details on the plan from Chalkbeat.

SOME FUN: The Oscars are garnering lots of attention for the mix-up over precisely which movie won best picture, but schools also got a moment in the spotlight. One of the songwriters for “La La Land,” Justin Paul, thanked the public school where he said “arts and culture were valued and recognized and resourced” during his acceptance speech. Read more in Chalkbeat.