Archive for the ‘economic meltdown’ Category

Updates on Planned Parenthood, Indiana Schools, and Roller Derby

In Community, economic meltdown, Economy, media scandal, planned parenthood, Roller Derby, Schools on May 12, 2010 at 2:08 am

Hello all,

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated.  I’ve been continuing my research on both the Indiana public schools and Planned Parenthood of Indiana.  I’ve also been attending regular practices with the Lafayette Brawlin’ Dolls (our local roller derby team) for the upcoming cover story in HELEN magazine.

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Updates on School Funding Story

In Community, economic meltdown, Harrison High School, Layoffs, Schools, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction (photo courtesy of the Indiana Department of Education Web site)

I contacted Tony Bennett, the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, in hopes of sitting down and interviewing him for my story on public schools, layoffs, budget cuts, funding, etc.

His office responded to me, and said he would be happy to meet with me.  I’m not sure when that will happen, but in the mean time, they sent me this article for background research.  It’s an examination of the correlation between federal and state funding and student performance in public schools.  It claims that an increase in funding has not improved pupil performance in the past, and probably won’t work now.

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Principal of Harrison High School talks about teacher layoffs, budget cuts

In economic meltdown, Harrison High School, Layoffs, news, Schools on April 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

Last Thursday I spoke with Mr. Doug Lesley about the cuts TSC is experiencing.  Lesley, the principal of Harrison High School here in West Lafayette, went on to explain how the cuts came about, and why his school can afford to construct new classrooms, weight rooms and install new bleachers, but can’t afford to keep their teachers.  The school will lose 12 percent of its teaching staff and 20 percent of its administration next fall due largely in part to state property tax caps.

“When they took property tax and did away with it, all the parents were happy because they didn’t have to pay the property tax anymore,” Lesley said. “But it absolutely screwed the schools because we lost millions of dollars.”

Listen to an excerpt of the interview

I’ve contacted Gov. Mitch Daniels as well as Tony Bennett, Superintendent of Public Instruction, on the matter.  My hope is they will get back with me tomorrow about possible interview times.  The story needs another perspective and more than one source.  I’ve also contacted one of the teachers who has been terminated and will not be returning next fall.  Look for the rest of the story soon.

An interview with Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana

In economic meltdown, media scandal, news, planned parenthood on April 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Tomorrow (Monday) I have a meeting with Betty Cockrum.  I tried a year and a half ago to meet with her but was refused because of her busy schedule.  That’s okay.  Now that we’re finally meeting up, I’ve tried to brainstorm some questions that I feel are highly pressing.

The story itself is an examination of how Planned Parenthood of Indiana has managed the last two years.  2008 brought a slew of unwelcome events, including the economic downfall and unbelievable media scandals.  How have these things impacted and changed one of the nation’s biggest (and most controversial) reproductive health care providers?

I’d also like to get Betty’s memories of the week when two scandalous videos emerged showing Planned Parenthood of Indiana employees conducting illegal and unethical consult meetings with a woman posing as a 13-year-old girl impregnated by her 30-year-old boyfriend.  How did she react?  What did she feel?  Were the videos fair?  How did PPIN protect its reputation, and how have employees improved their conduct?

What other questions do you have?