Actions to Take Today
Since SB 423 passed the Senate today, it now moves on to the governor's desk. Tell the governor 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 108 - Education matters. Provides that when a school corporation authorizes an absence to permit a student to attend any educationally related nonclassroom activity, the student may not be recorded as being absent on any date for which the excuse is operative and may not be penalized by the school. Provides that an initial school improvement plan must be established and approved by the governing body not later than August 1 of the school year in which the plan is to be implemented. Requires: (1) the Indiana education employment relations board (board) to publish a model compensation plan with a model salary range that a school corporation may adopt; (2) each school corporation to submit its local compensation plan to the board; and (3) the board to publish local compensation plans on the board's Internet web site. (Under current law, the department of education publishes and oversees the model compensation plan and local compensation plans.) Provides that the board: (1) shall review a compensation plan for compliance; and (2) has jurisdiction to determine compliance of a compensation plan submitted. Establishes an expiration for emergency rules that the board adopts. Requires a school corporation that has a compensation plan but does not have a ratified collective bargaining agreement to, not later than October 1 of the year in which the compensation plan becomes effective, submit the school corporation's compensation plan to the board. Provides that, if a school corporation does not submit the compensation plan by October 1, the compensation plan is considered not in compliance unless a compliance officer of the board finds good cause shown for the delay. Provides that a principal or superintendent, or the principal's or superintendent's designee, may recommend an individual to participate in the Indiana high school equivalency diploma program. Allows the governing body of a school corporation to deny a request for a student to transfer to the school corporation or discontinue enrollment, or establish terms or conditions for enrollment or for continued enrollment, if the student has a history of unexcused absences and the governing body believes that, based on the location of the student's residence, attendance would be a problem. Provides that a special needs bus may be used to provide transportation for asibling of a student with a developmental or physical disability. Requires the department of education (department), in collaboration with the state board of education, to prepare a report that includes recommendations regarding certificated employee evaluations. Requires the department, not later than November 1, 2017, to submit the report to the general assembly. Provides that a provision requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation training applies to a charter school other than a virtual charter school. Requires, before December 1, 2017, the department of workforce development to commission an entity that specializes in improving access to adult literacy programs to: (1) prepare and submit a report regarding adult literacy programs to the legislative council; and (2) present the report to the state workforce innovation council.
Education Bills in Senate Conference Committee
More details can be found here.
SB 248 - Consolidation of school administrative functions. Allows two or more school corporations situated in the same or adjoining counties to consolidate in a manner in which debts or obligations paid by a debt service levy incurred by a school corporation before the new consolidated school corporation comes into existence may be levied only on the taxpayers of the subunit that initially incurred the debt or obligation before consolidation. Provides that each school corporation is considered a subunit of the consolidated school corporation. Provides that the resolution consolidating the school corporations may declare: (1) that administrative functions of each subunit will be consolidated in the proposed consolidated school corporation; and (2) that the name or attendance area of each school within a subunit may remain unchanged after the date the consolidated school corporation comes into existence. Provides that, if two or more school corporations consolidate under the new consolidation provision, the department of local government finance shall set for the consolidated school corporation: (1) new maximum levies, which must equal the sum of the existing maximum levies adjusted for assessed value growth; and (2) a maximum capital projects levy rate. Relocates and amends the provision that provides that 20% of the legal voters residing in the district of any school corporation, jointly with 20% of legal voters residing in the district of each of one or more other school corporations, may petition the trustees of their respective school corporations to consolidate the school corporations. Provides that the meeting that the governing bodies of the school corporations are required to hold one week after the date of the appearance of the last publication of notice of intention to consolidate must be a public meeting. Amends provisions concerning compensation and vacancies regarding the membership of the governing body after a consolidation. Provides that certain consolidated school corporations are eligible for a one time school corporation efficiency incentive grant.
Education Bills in House Conference Committee
More details can be found here.
HB 1003 - Student assessments. Replaces the ISTEP test program after June 30, 2018, with a new statewide assessment program to be known as Indiana's Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN). Provides, beginning after June 30, 2017, that a high school must administer an end of course assessments in the subjects of: (1) English 10; (2) biology I; and (3) algebra I. Repeals a provision defining the ISTEP program. Makes conforming amendments.
HB 1004 - Prekindergarten education. Provides that, after June 30, 2017, the early education grant pilot program (prekindergarten pilot program) includes eligible providers in any county in Indiana. Changes references to the "pilot program" to the "prekindergarten pilot program". Adds additional requirements for an eligible provider to participate in the prekindergarten pilot program. Adds additional requirements for an eligible child to qualify for or receive a grant under the prekindergarten pilot program. Provides that children who meet certain criteria and are in foster care are eligible for a grant under the prekindergarten pilot program and excludes the children in foster care from other eligibility requirements. Provides that the office of the secretary of family and social services (office) may award a grant to a potential eligible provider or existing eligible provider for an expansion plan if certain requirements are met. Requires a potential eligible provider or existing eligible provider to repay to the office the total amount of the grant awarded if the potential eligible provider or existing eligible provider fails to use the grant funds in accordance with the expansion plan or in compliance with the agreement with the office. Requires the office to: (1) monitor the educational outcomes resulting from the implementation of expansion plans; and (2) annually provide the governor and legislative council a report of the findings of the office concerning the educational outcomes. Requires the office to make random onsite inspections, as determined necessary by the office, of facilities of eligible providers and potential eligible providers or existing eligible providers each year. Provides that the office may determine that an eligible provider or potential eligible provider or existing eligible provider is no longer eligible under the prekindergarten pilot program. Requires the division of family resources to develop a provider rate reimbursement schedule that uses money appropriated by the general assembly as an incentive for providers eligible to receive voucher payments under the federal Child Care and Development fund voucher program to meet the standards of quality recognized by a Level 3 or Level 4 Paths to QUALITY program rating. Requires the department of education (department) to approve an early learning development framework for prekindergarten. Requires the office to apply for waivers from all applicable federal agencies to receive any federal funding for child care or prekindergarten education in one block grant to use for child care and prekindergarten programs in the state. Establishes the prekindergarten pilot program fund (fund). Allows the office to develop and implement a reimbursement program to reimburse costs incurred by parents to provide technology based, in-home early education services to a child. Allows money in the fund to be used to pay for the reimbursements. Makes an appropriation to the fund of $16,000,000 in both state fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Specifies that of the $16,000,000 appropriated in a state fiscal year, $1,000,000 of that amount must be used for reimbursement of in-home early education services. Requires the department, in consultation with the family and social services administration, to conduct a survey to determine the number of children who were four years of age and enrolled in a prekindergarten program during the 2015-2016 school year. Requires, not later than December 1, 2017, the department to submit a report concerning the survey to the general assembly. Repeals the provisions concerning the early education matching grant program.
HB 1463 - Teachers' defined contribution plan. Establishes the teachers' defined contribution plan (plan) as an account within the Indiana state teachers' retirement fund (fund). Provides that an individual who begins employment with a school corporation in a covered position that would otherwise be eligible for membership in the fund may elect to become a member of the plan. Provides that an individual who does not elect to become a member of the plan becomes a member of the fund. Requires the board of trustees of the Indiana public retirement system (board) to establish, subject to any approval from the Internal Revenue Service that the board considers necessary or desirable, alternative investment programs within the annuity savings account as the initial alternative investment programs for the plan. Provides that, if the board considers it necessary or appropriate, the board may establish different or additional alternative investment programs for the plan, except that the board shall maintain the stable value fund. Provides that each member's contribution to the plan is 3% of the member's compensation and requires the employer to pay the member's contribution on behalf of the member. Allows a member to make additional contributions to the plan up to 10% of the member's compensation. Provides that the employer's contribution rate for the plan is equal to the employer's contribution rate for the fund as determined by the board, although the amount credited from the employer's contribution rate to the member's account may not be greater than the normal cost of the fund, and any amount not credited to the member's account is applied to the unfunded accrued liability of the fund. Provides that an employer's minimum contribution to the plan is 3% of the compensation of all members of the plan. Provides that member contributions and net earnings on the member contributions belong to the member at all times and do not belong to the employer. Provides that a member vests in the employer contribution subaccount at 20% per year with full vesting after five years of participation. Provides that, if a member separates from service with an employer before the member is fully vested in the employer contribution subaccount, the amount in the subaccount that is not vested is: (1) transferred to the member's new employer, if the new employer participates in the plan; or (2) held in the member's employer contribution subaccount until forfeited. Provides that a member who: (1) terminates service in a covered position; and (2) does not perform any service in a covered position for at least 30 days after the date on which the member terminates service; is entitled to withdraw vested amounts in the member's account. Provides that a member may elect to have withdrawals paid as: (1) a lump sum; (2) a direct rollover to another eligible retirement plan; or (3) if the member is at least 62 years of age with at least five years of participation in the plan, a monthly annuity in accordance with the rules of the board. Provides that, on the plan's effective date, school corporations become participants in the plan. Provides that the board shall provide education to employers and members regarding retirement benefit options of all applicable pension and retirement funds that the board administers.
HB 1001 State biennial budget. Appropriates money for capital expenditures, the operation of the state, K-12 and higher education, the delivery of Medicaid and other services, and various other distributions and purposes. Provides for bonding authority for capital projects for higher education institutions. Terminates the legislative evaluation and oversight program. Replaces the statutory appropriation from the counter-cyclical revenue and economic stabilization fund to the state general fund based on the budget report with a limited discretionary transfer determined by the budget director and approved by the governor, after review by the budget committee. Requires the attorney general to include certain language concerning settlement funds in proposed court order language. Establishes the agency settlement fund for purposes of receiving certain funds paid to the state as part of a settlement or similar agreement. Establishes the personal services/fringe benefits contingency fund for the purpose of allotting money to departments, institutions, and state agencies for: (1) salary increases; (2) fringe benefit increases; (3) an employee leave conversion program; (4) state retiree health programs; and (5) any related expenses. Provides that the budget agency shall administer the fund and may use money in the fund only with the approval of the governor. Specifies that money in each horse breed development fund is continuously appropriated to make payments ordered by the horse racing commission. Specifies that the horse racing commission's share of the money in the gaming integrity fund is continuously appropriated to carry out the purposes of the fund. Merges the law enforcement academy building fund and the law enforcement training fund into the law enforcement academy fund with no changes to the funds' uses. Allows the law enforcement academy to charge a fee to all users for training and corresponding marginal and fixed costs according to an annual cost and fee schedule approved by the budget director. Allows the academy to house and train law enforcement agencies from outside Indiana. Establishes the Indiana tourism task force to study the tourism departments of other states for the purposes of learning: (1) the structure of state tourism departments; (2) the level of funding provided to state tourism departments; and (3) the relationship between state funding of a state's tourism department and the economic impact of tourism on the state. Increases the maximum school scholarship income tax credits that may be awarded during a state fiscal year beginning after June 30, 2017, to $12,500,000. Provides that an acute care hospital is entitled to a credit against the hospital's adjusted gross income tax liability equal to 20% of the property taxes paid in Indiana. (The current credit is equal to 10% of the property taxes paid in Indiana.) Specifies that the credit applies only to taxes on real property. Provides that the amount of any unused credit may be claimed as a refundable tax credit. Authorizes the county council of Vigo County to adopt a county food and beverage tax. Provides that the tax rate may not exceed 1%. Specifies the purposes for which the revenue may be used. Requires the budget agency to retain and transfer to the department of state revenue in 2019 a part of the certified distribution of local income tax that is equal to the amount of the certified distribution that represents certified shares for calendar year 2018 multiplied by 0.5%. Specifies that the money in the standardbred horse fund is continuously appropriated to carry out the purposes of the fund. Provides that a governmental entity may issue a request for information with respect to a public-private agreement: (1) to consider the factors involved in, the feasibility of, or the potential consequences of a contemplated project involving a public facility or transportation project; (2) to prepare a request for proposals; or (3) to evaluate any aspect of an existing public-private agreement. Provides that responses to a request for information are confidential unless confidentiality is waived in writing. Specifies that a person denied the right to inspect or copy records designated as confidential may file a formal complaint with the public access counselor or may request an advisory opinion or make an informal inquiry. Provides that the governmental entity issuing the request for information is not required to take any action after receiving a response to a request for information. Repeals provisions authorizing the Indiana finance authority to enter into a public-private agreement for communications systems infrastructure with a single offeror based solely on a request for information. Requires the state board of finance to notify the state board of education and the department of education (DOE) when the state board of finance takes certain actions. Authorizes the Indiana department of veterans' affairs to make grants to be used for the purpose of providing services to veterans. Provides for an increase in the reimbursement rate for certain services provided to an individual under a Medicaid waiver and whose services are delivered by direct care staff. Provides that the state personnel department is the entity responsible for maintaining the plans of self-insurance for employees, including retired employees, of the state police department, conservation officers of the department of natural resources, and the state excise police. Changes the expiration dates for the hospital assessment fee and the health facility quality assessment fee from June 30, 2017, to June 30, 2019. Provides that deer research and management fund fee revenue, migratory waterfowl stamp revenue, and game bird restoration stamp revenue may be retained in the fish and wildlife fund if the budget agency finds that it would reduce the balance in the fish and wildlife fund below $3,000,000 at the end of the state fiscal year. Modifies the replacement facility exemption for purposes of the prohibition on the approval of licensure of comprehensive care health facilities and comprehensive care beds, and extends the prohibition through June 30, 2019. Increases the funding from $6,600 to $6,750 per student for three charter schools that provide adult education. Changes the number of students for these schools that may be funded. Provides that the spring ADM count of students is only for informational purposes. Specifies the foundation amounts, special education grant amounts, and honors diploma award amounts. Requires the state board of education to amend its rule establishing developmental delay as a disability category to provide that, beginning July 1, 2018, developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least three years of age and less than nine years of age. (Currently, developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least three years of age and not more than five years of age.) Adds developmental delay as a category for mild and moderate disabilities for purposes of determining special education grant amounts. Requires the department of workforce development (DWD), with approval of the state board of education, to designate each career and technical education program (program) based on specified program designations. Provides that a program must be approved by the DWD in order for a school corporation to receive a career and technical education enrollment grant (grant). Specifies the calculation and the amount of a school corporation's grant beginning after June 30, 2018. Makes changes to the definitions used to determine grant amounts. Requires virtual charter schools to report annually certain information to the DOE. Deletes choice scholarships from the statute concerning proportionate reduction in the amount of basic tuition support, honors diploma awards, complexity grants, special education grants, career and technical education grants, and Mitch Daniels early graduation scholarships if the total amount to be distributed for those purposes for a state fiscal year exceeds the amounts appropriated by the general assembly. Deletes the provision specifying that the DOE shall accept applications for choice scholarship students from September 2 through January 15 for the spring semester of the current school year. Changes, for the school years beginning after June 30, 2016, and ending before July 1, 2018, the manner in which average daily membership is determined for the School City of East Chicago school corporation. Provides for a teacher appreciation grant for school corporations if one or more licensed teachers employed in the classroom by the school corporation were rated as effective or as highly effective, using the most recently completed teacher ratings. Provides that a teacher appreciation grant shall be allocated among and used only to pay cash stipends to all licensed teachers employed in the classroom who are rated as effective or as highly effective. Provides that a virtual school may not receive a teacher appreciation grant. Allows the Muncie community school corporation to sell a school building located adjacent to the Ball State University campus to Ball State University without first making the school building available to a charter school for lease or purchase. Permits the School City of East Chicago school corporation to request a waiver to exempt the Carrie Gosch Elementary School building from the requirement to make the school building available to a charter school for lease or purchase. Requires the DOE to grant the waiver if requested. Authorizes the Gary Community School Corporation, while it is designated as a distressed political subdivision, to request a waiver from the DOE from the requirements to make school buildings available to a charter school for lease or purchase. Requires the DOE to grant the waiver if requested. Amends the primary care shortage area scholarship statute to provide that it applies to qualifying applicants who will practice in Indiana (rather than only those who will practice in a primary care shortage area). Specifies that the scholarship may also be awarded to qualifying nonresidents who intend to remain in Indiana (but provides that the commission for higher education (CHE) shall give a preference to Indiana residents when awarding such a scholarship). Deletes the requirement that the scholarship may only be awarded to a student in the first year class. Specifies the maximum amounts of the scholarship (depending on the class year in which it is awarded). Provides that the CHE (in coordination with the Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine) shall administer the scholarship program. Excludes Ivy Tech Community College, from July 1, 2017, to January 1, 2018, from the provisions that apply to the sale of real estate by a state educational institution. Makes the automated record keeping fee permanent. Maintains the $5 fee on actions resulting in a pretrial diversion program agreement or deferral program agreement. Increases from the fee on other actions from $19 to $20. Provides that the statute establishing Indiana works councils expires July 1, 2018. Removes a provision in current law that would lower the document storage fee from $5 to $2 after June 30, 2017. Provides $5,000,000 from a 2013 appropriation for the health and safety contingency fund to rehabilitate a state owned building to be used to provide services to Indiana's veterans. Requires the budget agency to transfer an amount from the state general fund to the state bicentennial capital account to cover obligations incurred before July 1, 2017. Provides that the amount transferred may not exceed $5,500,000. Extends the legislative and judicial branch leave conversion pilot program through June 30, 2019. Requires the budget agency to do a comparison of salary and benefits for conservation officers, state excise police, and gaming agents. Repeals: (1) the bonding authority enacted in 2007 for the Purdue University West Lafayette-Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory; and (2) the bonding authority enacted in 2009 for the Indiana University Southeast education and technology building. Requires the CHE to: (1) review the metrics used in the performance funding formula to ensure that those metrics are aligned with the state's higher education goals; and (2) make recommendations before July 1, 2018, to the legislative council and the governor concerning the metrics used in the performance funding formula. Requires the CHE to study the effectiveness of the academic program at the Indiana Academy for Science, Math, and Humanities and report its findings to the legislative council and the governor. Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on courts and the judiciary the topic of studying issues related to providing indigent defense services to persons charged with a misdemeanor and providing defense services to children who are alleged to be children in need of services.