The Education Gap Remains

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A recent report by the Race for Results indicates Indiana is lagging when it comes to K-12 education. African American and Latino children are stilling lagging behind their white counterparts.

Gov. Eric Holcomb noted that wrap around services were needed across Indiana and those services would be the focus in the upcoming session.

Gov. Holcomb here is what Indiana families need:

More Financial Support to Access a Quality Education

I know from experience the school choice options available in Indiana require sacrifice from families. Whether it be changing work schedules to get children to and from school because transportation is not provided or cutting back on your budget to pay the portion of tuition the school choice voucher does not cover. There are many families who can't afford to make these sacrifices and their children are therefore trapped in failing schools.

Community Partners to Support Struggling Families

Our teachers work hard, but are not always given the tools to support our children. Teachers in our poorest communities are supplying food, school supplies and winter coats and hats with their meager salaries.  We need community partners to help families meet their basic needs so teachers can fill the academic needs.

Affordable Tutoring Services

When I was first faced with finding tutoring for one of my children I found out tutoring services were not affordable. I again made a sacrifice that many families can't make. Per the 2017 Race for Results, 90% of African American youth in our state are not proficient in math.  Many teachers have their own families and we shouldn't expect them to stay after school every day to tutor every child who needs extra help.

Easy Access to Mental Health Services

Many children have undiagnosed and untreated mental health issues.  Some families don't know where to turn for diagnosis and treatment and most simply can't afford services. Education on signs and symptoms of possible mental health issues along with easy access is much needed in these communities.

The children in our poorest communities can learn. We just have to give them, their families, and their teachers the tools needed to succeed.



Cheryl Kirk

Mrs. Kirk is a married mother of three children, 16-year-old twins and a 9 year-old son, who all currently attend private school on a voucher. She is a Gary, Indiana native but has lived in Indianapolis for many years. While trying to provide a quality education for her children she met many obstacles and became determined to access the best education for her children. Cheryl is a licensed practical nurse and has worked in home care, hospice, long-term care, and is currently the clinical director for an assisted living facility.