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August 2020

Hoosier Schools Committed to Military Families

Hoosier schools are leading the way in displaying a significant commitment to our service members, veterans, and students and families connected to our nation’s military. Whether ensuring military families can turn to a designated point of contact for assistance or hosting an event so students can honor veterans, House Republicans appreciate the more than 60 Purple Star Schools throughout the state working hard on behalf of our nation’s heroes.

To be named a Purple Star School, schools met these requirements:

  • Assigning a point of contact for military families;
  • Passing a resolution supporting military students and families;
  • Hosting an annual military recognition event;
  • Recognizing service members and veterans with a public display; and
  • Guaranteeing interviews for service members and their immediate family who meet the minimum job qualifications.

As one of the nation’s most veteran-friendly states, Indiana is dedicated to those who defend our country’s freedoms. From preventing educational disruptions by allowing military families to enroll their children in K-12 schools before moving to phasing in a full income tax exemption by 2023 for military retirement pensions and survivors’ benefits, House Republicans remain dedicated to helping our military families.

Thank you to these Purple Star Schools, their staff and students for supporting our service members, veterans and families connected to our nation’s military.

To view the list of recipients, click here. More information about the Purple Star School designation is available here.

Where to Turn for Help with Rent

Hoosiers living outside of Marion County who are struggling to make their rent payments due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic can turn to the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program for help.

Thanks to $40 million from the federal CARES Act, eligible renters throughout the state can receive up to $500 in assistance for four months, for a maximum of $2,000, to cover past and ongoing rent payments, or late fees. To qualify, Hoosiers must have lost their job or part of their income due to COVID-19, a current household income – including unemployment dollars – less than the household income on March 6 and not received rental assistance from another source.

Anyone unable to make their rent payments should speak directly with their property managers. Landlords need to agree to participate in the program and will have the payments made directly to them. Hoosiers needing assistance can apply at IndianaHousingNow.org, and those who cannot complete their applications online should call 1-844-463-7368.

Indianapolis recently launched its own rental assistance program to help those living in Marion County. It is important to note that as they process the high volume of requests received, applications for the program are temporarily suspended. Click the tenant application link here to enter your contact information and receive notification when applications are reopened. To learn more, visit IndyRent.org.

Homeowners needing help with their mortgage payments can contact 877-GET-HOPE. Hoosiers can also call 2-1-1 or visit 211.org online to connect with a number of resources for food, clothing, mental health services, housing assistance, employment opportunities and child care assistance.

Got Unclaimed Property? Check Today!

More than $570 million in unclaimed property is waiting to be claimed in Indiana. The state reunited Hoosiers with over $34 million so far this year, but millions more is yet to be returned to rightful owners.

Unclaimed property is any financial asset with no activity from its owner for an extended period of time. That includes wages or commissions, forgotten bank accounts, insurance claims, stock dividends, credit balances, customer deposits or overpayments, refunds and money orders. It does not include real estate, abandoned vehicles or stolen property.

Organizations holding unclaimed property will work to find its owner, but if attempts are unsuccessful they must report the assets to the state listed on the person’s last known address. The state in turn works to reunite this property with its owner via promotional efforts through advertisements, social media, mailings and media coverage.

While the average claim in Indiana is about $1,000, the largest paid this year so far was nearly $1 million. The state distributed more than 33,000 claims this year. They have a list of frequently asked questions about unclaimed property, including how to submit a claim and avoid having abandoned funds. Visit IndianaUnclaimed.gov or call 866-IN-CLAIM (866-462-5246) to see if you or someone you know has any unclaimed assets.

Meet Graduation Requirement By Tutoring

High school juniors and seniors can now fulfill graduation requirements by tutoring younger students.

During summer break, students can experience some form of learning loss, meaning they do not retain some of the lessons they learned the previous school year, but most are typically able to relearn these lessons quickly. However, because students participated in remote- or e-learning due to COVID-19, a recent NWEA report estimates some children could be starting the 2020-2021 school year up to nearly a full grade level behind their peers in some subjects.

To help bridge this gap, schools can implement the Indiana Department of Education’s newly developed Indiana Tutoring Fellowship, which will fulfill the Service-Based Learning Experience under Graduation Pathway Requirement #2.   

To be eligible to participate in this program, students must be a high school junior or senior, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and be in good behavioral standing. The IDOE recommends tutoring sessions take place virtually, but if students are permitted to meet face-to-face, social distancing must be followed. Tutors will work with students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Not only will this program help bridge the achievement gap that some students may be facing, but it will also provide high schoolers, especially those considering a career as a teacher, the opportunity gain valuable skills.

House Republicans championed the 2017 law creating Indiana’s graduation pathways, which allows students to pursue opportunities that best meet their education and career goals.

Click here for more information.  

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