Actions to Take Today Are the Same as Yesterday... Plus One More
Contact your state legislator to tell them that you oppose SB 423, which prohibits a postsecondary educational institution from declaring itself a sanctuary to immigrants. Those who were protected under former President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program will still be allowed at universities under Senate Bill 423. But if President Donald Trump repeals that program, Indiana universities would no longer be able to allow undocumented immigrants to attend.
This bill has nothing to do with protecting universities or the surrounding communities—it is designed to pander to the anti-immigrant Trump voters, and the Universities should not be micromanaged by the legislature.
You can read more here and here.
You can find what to write/say here.
Contact your legislator to tell them that you oppose Muncie to be included in SB 567. You can read more about the state of SB 567 here.
Currently the bill has passed the Senate and House, but the House made amendments, so it has returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote.
The Muncie community is rallying hard to make sure this doesn't happen. Their next protest is on April 11 between 5 and 6 p.m. Details are here.
Side note. It is quite amazing that charter schools were forgiven $91.2 million in state loans in 2013, some of which are in Gary, Indiana. Yet the Senate rejected a loan forgiveness request from Gary community schools, which are in debt for $100 million. (From the article link above: The Republican-controlled Senate "also denied Democratic efforts to boost spending on pre-kindergarten education, food banks, senior citizen home care programs, the state's child care tax credit, earned income tax credit and soil lead testing in St. Joseph County." The legislators also passed on an increase in cigarette taxes and the government has a $2 billion budget surplus.)
Contact your legislator to tell them that you opposed HB 1384.
ISTA summarizes the current state of this bill best: "This bill originally focused on the calculation of graduation rates, but an amendment was added in the House Education committee that would enable D and F private voucher schools to skirt the existing accountability standards.
Under current law, if a private voucher school has two consecutive years as a D or F school, it loses its right to receive vouchers. Under this bill, the state board of education would be allowed to annually grant a waiver or a delay of that accountability sanction, if, "a majority of students demonstrated academic improvement," from the prior year.
The new private school standard of demonstrating academic improvement is not the same thing as standardized test scores, which drives accountability for public schools. The bill would also remove a second window for enrolling students in voucher schools occurring in the second semester. The Senate, on 2nd reading, restored the second semester window for private schools."
HB 1384 passed both the House and Senate, but returns to the House for a concurrence vote due to amendments the Senate added.
You can read more on HB 1384 here.
Education Bills to Be Concurred by the Senate
More details can be found here.
SB 30 - Student school information. Requires the department of education (department), for each spring semester and each fall semester, to distribute to each school corporation: (1) the name of each eligible school in which an eligible choice scholarship student who has legal settlement in the school corporation is enrolled; (2) the number of the eligible choice scholarship students who are enrolled in each eligible school for the school year; and (3) certain information regarding the number of students who have legal settlement in a school corporation and attend a public school maintained by another school corporation or a charter school. Requires the department to post the information on the department's Internet web site.
SB 423 - Sanctuary policies and postsecondary educational institutions. Prohibits a postsecondary educational institution from enacting or implementing an ordinance, a resolution, a rule, or a policy that prohibits or in any way restricts an employee of the postsecondary educational institution from taking certain actions with regard to information of the citizenship or immigration status of an individual.
Education Bills to Be Concurred by the House
More details can be found here.
HB 1136 - Latch key programs. Provides that a school corporation may include children who attend preschool offered by the school corporation in a school age child care program (commonly referred to as a latch key program) conducted by the school corporation.
HB 1281 - Various higher education matters. Allows the commission for higher education (commission) to extend, with limitations, eligibility for certain grants or reductions in tuition or fees for recipients who used the grants or reductions in tuition or fees at postsecondary educational institutions that have closed. Amends provisions regarding renewal of certain scholarships and tuition and fee remissions. Changes the term "professional degree program" to "professional degree program or accelerated graduate degree program" and amends the definition. Amends the provision regarding the use of renewals and extensions of certain grants or reductions in tuition or fees for professional degree programs or accelerated graduate degree programs. Allows recipients of certain grants, scholarships, or remissions of fees to: (1) use, with certain limitations, funds from the grants, scholarships, or remissions of fees to pay for costs associated with prior learning assessments that the student attempts to earn during the academic year in which the student receives the grants, scholarships, or remissions of fees; and (2) count anticipated credit hours for prior learning assessments toward attendance requirements. Establishes the tuition and fee exemption reimbursement fund to provide reimbursement to state educational institutions for certain tuition and fee remissions. Provides that the commission, in coordination with the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine, shall administer the primary care shortage area scholarship. (Current law provides that the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine shall administer the scholarship.) Requires a scholarship recipient to enter into an agreement with the commission (instead of the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine). Requires the commission to: (1) study and make recommendations regarding the benefits of a reverse transfer policy for Indiana students and prepare a report regarding the recommendations; and (2) submit, not later than November 1, 2017, the report to the budget agency and legislative council.