School counselors need support

The Department of Education’s 2017 creation of new pathways to high school graduation increased the workload of school counselors without providing the necessary resources to handle such an increase.

School counselors have the demanding responsibilities of the students’ mental and emotional well-being, academic performance and preparation for college or the job market.

According to the American School Counselor Association, Indiana school counselors are working at double the recommended workload.

When any of our school personnel are overworked, the quality of the educational experience is bound to suffer.

The Department of Education’s 2017 initiative is admirable but amounts to an unfunded mandate. When an educational goal is expanded, the necessary resources should be provided to meet that goal.

During an August meeting of the Indiana Interim Study Committee on Education Issues, lawmakers heard from the American School Counselor Association and briefly discussed adding virtual schools to the agenda.

We hope that the ongoing legal battle between Daleville Community Schools and two virtual schools serve as an example of the pitfalls of entrusting an outside organization with responsibilities traditionally entrusted to our school districts. In this case, even more time and money is being spent attempting to obtain student transcripts after the virtual schools were closed for mismanagement, time and money that should’ve been used on providing students with the best education possible.

Indiana students deserve to have dedicated and attentive personnel in their schools’ counseling departments.

The Department of Education should provide additional funding to support additional hires to meet the increased demands of its programs.

The Herald Bulletin, Anderson

Breaking ground on the future

The fanfare will be well-deserved in downtown Terre Haute when the Capital Improvement Board conducts a formal groundbreaking for a convention center. Every Vigo County resident has a stake in this long-awaited project, and we hope the community can look on it with pride and anticipation.

A downtown convention center has been a dream of the business-development and tourism community for years. Maybe even decades. There are many good reasons why a facility such as this can be a successful venture. There are already two downtown hotels next to the site, and a third one is planned. Hulman Center, Indiana State University’s athletic facility and special events venue, is on the next block north. There is plenty of room for the convention space and a new parking structure.

Downtown Terre Haute was a booming commercial and retail center for most of the 20th century. It was bustling and thriving in its heyday — the place to go and the place to be. But the dynamics of change sent downtown into a tailspin in the last three decades of the century. Retail companies closed down. Many iconic buildings were torn down.

But almost as soon as the death knell sounded for the old-time retail district, a spark of resurgence was lit. First Financial Bank led the way with an impressive new downtown headquarters at Wabash Avenue and Sixth Street. Optimism simmered. Others began to invest. Leaders emerged. The people took notice.

It’s been a long and painstaking process, but progress continues. The groundbreaking for a convention center is another in what should be considered a major landmark in time for the revitalization of downtown.

Actual construction will begin soon, and the structure is expected to be complete in the spring 2021. The overall budget for the entire project is estimated at a little more than $32 million.

Funding for the project is fueled by a $22 million bond issue from Vigo County, as well as $5 million in cash from the county’s Economic Development Income Tax. Other funds are coming from the city of Terre Haute, the Terre Haute Redevelopment Commission and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The project is the result of business, government and community leaders daring to dream. It shows that Terre Haute and Vigo County is embracing a vision of itself as a thriving area that has confidence in itself and its people.

Tribune-Star, Terre Haute

The Herald Bulletin, Anderson

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