State Superintendent visits Elkhart County, addresses issues

ELKHART, Ind. -- It's a fact school superintendents like Rob Hayworth of Elkhart have to deal with.

"We're facing a $14 million problem," Hayworth said. "Affecting 22,000 students."

He's trying to figure out how to get thousands of youngsters to school safely, with less money than years past.

"The issue that 47 school corporations are facing, 3 of those in Elkhart County, is a catastrophic loss to their transportation budget," Hayworth said.

Which means those stories your grandparents used to tell about walking several miles uphill to school and back, could soon become a reality.

"It's a big issue," Glenda Ritz, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, said.

She's working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to try and secure extra money, but it's still too early to tell if struggling school districts like Elkhart will get the funds they need.

"Education really is a non-partisan issue," Ritz, a Democrat, said. "So, I will continue to have dialogue to do what I feel is a good direction for education for the students in Indiana."

But transportation isn't the only problem affecting schools.

She and state lawmakers fielded questions on issues like remediation and Core 40 requirements.

All things that cost money.

But Ritz said, if the state education budget does get extra funds, they will be spent wisely.

"I want to be very cautious on how we go forth with new programming to make sure we have the funds that are going to allow it to happen," Ritz said.

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