📬 It's Thursday — better mail that Father's Day card.

☀️ Today's weather: Sunny and a high of 87.

🛣️ Situational awareness: Your drive up I-65 will soon take you past the nicest rest stop in Indiana — the $35 million Kankakee Welcome Center — which will be completed in September, a harbinger of more luxurious interstate bathrooms to come.

Today's newsletter is 909 words — a 3-minute read. Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Gail Hughes.

1 big thing: Indiana's affordability advantage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Indiana's relative affordability for housing and child care are making the state a more attractive place to raise kids, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Driving the news: The annual report, released Wednesday, ranks children's quality of life in four categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community.

Why it matters: Indiana's 24th-place child well-being ranking is our best result in a decade.

By the numbers: Indiana ranked 13th in education outcomes, 16th in economic well-being, 29th in health and 31st in family and community.

  • Only four states had a smaller share of children living in households with a high housing cost burden and two were tied with Indiana at 21%.
  • The annual cost of center-based child care for Hoosier toddlers was $7,884, which was cheaper than all but seven states.

Reality check: There is still plenty of room for improvement.

  • Indiana is one of 33 states where infant care is more expensive than in-state tuition at public colleges.
  • Lack of access to early childhood education continues to be an issue in many communities as well, with too many young Hoosier children — 60% of 3- and 4-year-olds — not in school.

Meanwhile, one of Indiana's biggest areas of improvement from the previous report was in the share of high school students not graduating on time, which fell to 9%.

Yes, but: Some community leaders are concerned that Indiana is moving along too many students that haven't met graduation requirements through diploma waivers.

  • The Indiana General Assembly passed a law this session to limit the number of students who graduate with waivers from counting toward publicized graduation rates.

2. The amicable-est of splits

The baseball hats make it really official. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

RIP, IUPUI. Officials from Indiana University and Purdue University made their impending split official Wednesday, signing a dissolution of their joint venture after five decades of partnership.

Why it matters: The move is being heralded as a new era for higher education and workforce development in the state's capital.

Catch up fast: Both schools issued a joint notice of their intention to split last August.

  • The vast majority of current academic offerings and campus programming will transfer to IU and remain largely unchanged.
  • Purdue will assume the engineering and computer science programming and buildings, but it has plans to aggressively grow its undersized presence in Indianapolis.

Details: Most of the legacy IUPUI campus will become Indiana University Indianapolis.

  • Purdue is calling its new venture Purdue University in Indianapolis.
  • Unlike traditional satellite campuses, Purdue will treat its Indy presence as an extension of its flagship West Lafayette campus and students will receive Purdue-West Lafayette degrees.
  • The split takes effect July 1, 2024.

What's next: Both institutions plan to build facilities for their added academic programs — funded, at least in part, by a $60 million appropriation from the Indiana General Assembly.

  • IU President Pamela Whitten said they'll add STEM-related teaching and lab space.
  • Purdue President Mung Chiang said their first addition will be an academic and student success center built on its new 28 acres, which is mostly parking right now.

3. Pit stop: 🎵 Tomorrow we can drive around this town

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

👨‍⚖️ A federal judge heard arguments in the lawsuit challenging Indiana's ban on gender-affirming health care for minors yesterday and is considering whether to issue an injunction before the law takes effect July 1. (Associated Press)

🌿 Each summer, Indiana lawmakers convene study committees to examine topics for future legislation and for the second straight year, leaders said they'll consider cannabis legalization — all while downplaying the possibility. (WFYI)

🍔 Competitive eater James Webb set a record for eating Big Ugly burgers at Bub's in Carmel by eating six burgers — 9 pounds of food — in just over 37 minutes, a whopping six hours faster than the previous record of just five of the giant sandwiches in seven hours. (Current in Carmel)

🎤 The Indiana State Fair added Styx and the Gin Blossoms to its free stage lineup, with one more music announcement to come next week. (IndyStar)

📽️ 4. It's free outdoor movie season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

👋 James here, with a tip on an underrated summer activity, especially for kids: outdoor movies.

Between the lines: Yes, Newfields has a great summer movie series, but some of the most popular ones are sold out.

Details: You can still find great films playing for free in cool settings.

  • Riverside Park is showing "Back to the Future" on July 7; "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" on Aug. 11 and "Encanto" on Sept. 8 — all starting at 9pm in the Taggart Amphitheatre.
  • Garfield Park is showing "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish" on June 23; "Matilda" on July 14 and "Super Mario Bros." on Aug. 25. — all starting at 9pm in the MacAllister Amphitheater.
  • Carmel's Movies at Midtown series is showing "Ratatouille" tonight; "The Lion King" on June 20 and "Mulan" on June 27 and 29 — Tuesday movies play at noon and 6pm, Thursday shows are at 6pm at Midtown Plaza.

💭 My thought bubble: My 4-year-old is obsessed with "Super Mario Bros." — released this spring and already one of the highest-grossing animated movies ever — and I highly recommend that one for younger children, if they can handle some mildly scary scenes.

Fresh job openings around town

🔄 Refresh your career with one of these new listings.

  1. Chief Operating Officer at Indianapolis Fruit Company.
  2. Marketing Manager at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
  3. CFO, Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations at Martin University.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. 👩🏽‍💼 1 chart to go: Working moms

Data: Misty Heggeness using Current Population Survey (CPS), U.S. Census Bureau/Bureau of Labor Statistics via ipums.org; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Misty Heggeness using Current Population Survey (CPS), U.S. Census Bureau/Bureau of Labor Statistics via ipums.org; Chart: Axios Visuals

The percentage of women with children who are working is back to a peak level last seen in 2019, Axios' Emily Peck writes.

Why it matters: The pandemic was supposed to spell doomsday for working women, mothers in particular. That's not what happened.

  • The ability to work remotely was a game-changer for parents, but especially mothers.

Go deeper

👋 See you tomorrow! In the meantime, send our sign-up link to a working mom!

Our picks:

🎞️ James is heading to one of the area's best indoor movie venues — the Artcraft Theatre in Franklin — to see "You've Got Mail" tomorrow.

🍻 Arika is so excited that Liberty Street, her favorite bar in the city, has reopened.

🏕️ Lindsey is looking forward to crossing one thing off her Hoosier bucket list this weekend.