Axios Indianapolis

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Welcome back to Monday! We hope you had a wonderful weekend.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny with a high near 65.

‼️ Situational awareness: The Marion County health department is warning those who attended the eclipse event at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis that they might have been exposed to measles.

  • Anyone who may have been exposed would likely experience symptoms before today, but some individuals could see symptoms as late as April 29.

Today's newsletter is 946 words — a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Bill Kole.

1 big thing: Educators concerned about new requirements

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Educators are calling out the Indiana Department of Education for a "disappointingly brief" webinar about new teacher licensure requirements aimed at improving literacy.

Why it matters: One in five Hoosier third graders can't read on grade level. They risk falling behind in their education and, after changes to state law, being held back.

Catch up quick: Over the last two years, state lawmakers have passed several bills changing the way Indiana schools teach young children to read.

  • One of those changes, made this year, requires educators who teach pre-kindergarten through sixth grade and special education students to earn a "literacy endorsement."

Between the lines: The requirements — 80 hours of professional development and passing an exam — are frustrating many teachers who already feel beleaguered by moving targets and negative rhetoric and have been asking for more professional respect from state officials for years.

  • Last week's webinar was supposed to provide clarity on the new requirements and answer questions.

Reality check: The 13-minute, prerecorded video left many wanting.

What they're saying: "The webinar … failed to meet the reasonable expectations of our educators who are seeking clarity and support amidst significant professional changes," said Keith Gambill, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, in a statement.

  • "Such a format is not only insufficient but also disrespectful to the dedicated professionals who are striving to understand these new requirements."

Threat level: ISTA says the new requirements have "significantly increased the stress on teachers' already full schedules" and there are concerns that frustrated teachers will retire early or leave the profession when their licenses expire, rather than take these additional steps for renewal.

  • The requirements start next year for new teachers.
  • For educators renewing their licenses, they don't begin until 2027.

The other side: When asked about the concerns raised by ISTA, a spokesperson for the education department told Axios a 2-page memo was sent last week "to clarify any questions regarding Indiana's new literacy endorsement."

What's next

2. Meet Eric Doden, gubernatorial candidate

Doden and his family are funding much of his campaign. Photo: Courtesy of Doden for Indiana

As Hoosiers cast ballots in the gubernatorial primaries between now and May 7, Axios asked candidates in the crowded GOP field about their views on top policy issues, Indianapolis and how they'd run the state.

What's happening: Last week, we started rolling out surveys of all six candidates in alphabetical order.

Who's next: Eric Doden, the Fort Wayne businessman is one of two former leaders of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in the race.

  • Doden, 54, was the first candidate to enter the race, announcing his bid three years ago.

🌱 Should Indiana legalize marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes?

No.

🛣️ Would you support a state takeover of Washington and Meridian streets?

The Hoosier leaders I meet every day prefer local control, and that is my guiding philosophy. However, if Indianapolis leaders can't meet their responsibilities, the state should be willing to get the job done.

📈 What's one state agency that would function better at the end of your four-year term?

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

🏫 What's Indiana's biggest challenge right now?

Too many young adults from small- and medium-sized towns are moving to the largest cities.

🥰 If you're elected governor, you'd be an Indianapolis resident. What's something you'd look forward to about living here?

Watching Caitlin Clark and Anthony Richardson.

Keep reading

3. Pit stop: Sen. Breaux's replacement

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🏀 The Indiana Pacers suffered a 109-94 blowout loss to the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks yesterday in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs. Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series is tomorrow night in Milwaukee. (IndyStar)

🗳️ A Democratic caucus selected Indianapolis City-County Councilor La Keisha Jackson over Chunia Graves to fill the remaining term of the late state Sen. Jean Breaux.

  • Indiana Democrats have until July 3 to choose a candidate to replace Breaux on the November ballot. Her name will still appear on the primary ballot. (WFYI)

💊 The Indiana State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration are hosting a free, anonymous drug takeback event April 27. The initiative seeks to curb drug abuse and theft through proper disposal. (WRTV)

4. Meatless Monday: Julieta's broccolini taco on repeat

The broccolini taco started as a special but was so popular it's a regular menu item now. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

It's Arika. Hi, I'm not the problem.

It's not me. It's the Stutz Building.

  • It is too close to my house and everything over there is too dang cool.

What's happening: I'm drinking too much coffee at Patachou. And Amelia's. And Barista Parlor.

  • I'm eating too many tacos from Julieta's.

Where to go: Julieta, the tiny taco shop tucked into the Stutz courtyard, opened last year.

What to order: The broccolini taco, where perfectly roasted broccolini is tossed in a chipotle sauce and tucked into a soft tortilla with onions and herbs.

What they're saying: "Holy sh*t" were the first words out of my mouth after biting into the taco.

  • Sitting by myself. Talking to no one. Total gut reaction (get it?!).
  • It was just that good.

Cost: $5 for the taco; another $3 for the rice and beans.

If you go: 1060 N. Capital Ave.

  • Open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am to 2pm and 3-10pm.

Be a Local News Champion

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

Calling all local news enthusiasts! We aim to be your go-to source for timely, relevant stories that impact our community.

Help us continue our mission to keep you informed by becoming an Axios Indianapolis member today.

  • For just $50+ a year, you'll receive exclusive perks and support our newsroom's growth.

Join the club and make a difference!

5. Creating Caitlin Clark's guide to Indianapolis

Welcome to Indianapolis! Photo: Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

Excitement surrounding Caitlin Clark's Fever debut is climbing, and there is just as much interest in how she'll spend her time off the court.

To answer those questions, we turn to you!

  • What's the best part about living in Indianapolis?
  • What restaurants and coffee shops does she need to check out?
  • If you relocated to Indy, what is one thing you wish you knew before moving here?

📬 Hit reply to this email and let us know what tips you would pass to the No. 1 draft pick.

Share this newsletter with Caitlin Clark.

Our picks:

🌸 Arika is loving the dogwood trees blooming in her backyard.

👰 Justin is in the final planning stages as he prepares to officiate a friend's wedding in May.

🎧 Lindsey is listening to Taylor Swift's new album.