The following bill to be reviewed (3rd reading and vote) by the House on Tuesday, 3/28:
SB 475 - Developmental delay. 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.
The following bills are to be reviewed by the House Education Committee on Tuesday, 3/28:
SB 61 - School resource officers. Requires the commission on seclusion and restraint in schools (commission) to adopt rules concerning reporting requirements for the use of seclusion and restraint by school resource officers. Requires that the commission include a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers. Provides that a school corporation, accredited nonpublic school, or charter school must report incidents of seclusion and restraint involving a school resource officer. Provides that the commission may adopt emergency rules under IC 4-22-2-37.1. Voids a rule adopted by the commission that excludes school resource officers from the reporting requirements.
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. 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.
SB 182 - Superintendent contracts. Provides that a contract entered into or renewed after June 30, 2017, between a governing body and its superintendent is subject to the following conditions: (1) The contract must, with an exception for an extension, be for a term of at least 1 year and not more than 3 years. (2) If the contract contains a provision that establishes an amount the governing body must pay to the superintendent to buy out the contract, the amount may not be more than the an amount equal to the lesser of: (A) the superintendent's salary for any one year under the contract; or (B) $250,000.
SB 355 -Child abuse education and policies. Requires, not later than July 1, 2018, the department of education (department) to make available model educational materials and model response policies and reporting procedures concerning child abuse and child sexual abuse to assist schools with the implementation of: (1) child abuse and child sexual abuse education programs in kindergarten through grade 12; and (2) child abuse and child sexual abuse response and reporting policies. (Current law requires the department to make available the model educational materials and model response policies and reporting procedures concerning child abuse and child sexual abuse to assist schools with the implementation of: (1) child abuse and child sexual abuse education programs in grades 2 through 5; and (2) child abuse and child sexual abuse response and reporting policies.) Requires that the: (1) materials and guidelines provided to assist a safe school committee in developing a plan and policy for a school include the model educational materials and the model response policies and reporting procedures; and (2) plan and policy developed by the safe school committee; must address the issues of child abuse and child sexual abuse. Requires the child abuse and child sexual abuse response and reporting policies to include information on the duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect. Beginning in 2018, requires, not later than October 15 of each year, a public school, an accredited nonpublic school, and a charter school to provide age appropriate, research and evidence based instruction on child abuse and child sexual abuse to students in kindergarten through grade 12.
SB 498 - Teacher compensation. Provides that certain factors may account for not more than 33.33% (instead of 33%) of the calculation used to determine a teacher's increase or increment in salary. Amends the factor concerning additional content area degrees and credit hours in determining a teacher's increase or increment in salary. Requires the department of education to grant an application to add an additional content area or areas to a valid Indiana teaching license if certain conditions apply.
The following bills are to be reviewed by the Senate, Tuesday, 3/28
SB 114 - Professional licensing. Eliminates the jobs creation committee (committee). Transfers duties of the committee to the Indiana professional licensing agency. Makes conforming changes.
SB 392 Emergency medication. Defines "emergency medication" as epinephrine, albuterol, or naloxone. Allows a school or school corporation to: (1) fill a prescription for an emergency medication; and (2) store the emergency medication. (Current law allows a school to fill a prescription for auto-injectable epinephrine and store the auto-injectable epinephrine.) Defines "emergency stock medication" as emergency medication to which both the following apply: (1) The prescription of the emergency medication is filled by a school or school corporation. (2) The emergency medication is stored at a school. Provides that injectable epinephrine filled by certain entities must have an expiration date of not less than 12 months from the date that the pharmacy dispenses the injectable epinephrine. Makes conforming changes regarding: (1) administering emergency stock medication; (2) prescribing and dispensing emergency medication; and (3) certain immunity from liability concerning the administration of emergency stock medication. Defines "school" and "school nurse". Requires the department of education (department) to develop guidance materials concerning emergency medication and post a copy of the materials on the department's Internet web site. Requires a school nurse or school employee to make a report if an emergency stock medication is administered and submit the report in an electronic format to the department.
The following bills are scheduled for a 2nd reading in the Senate on Monday, March 27
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 othereligibility 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 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. Repeals the provisions concerning the early education matching grant program.
ICPE is relieved that the senate stripped out controversial language that linked the preschool pilot to the state’s private school voucher program. But slashed the funding to match their bill. Read more here.
HB 1024 - Prayer in schools. Provides that a school corporation or charter school shall not discriminate against a student or a student's parent on the basis of a religious viewpoint or religious expression. Provides that students may express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination based on the religious content of their submissions. Provides that public school students may pray or engage in religious activities or religious expression before, during, and after the school day in the same manner and to the same extent that students may engage in nonreligious activities or expression. Provides that students in public schools may wear clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display religious messages or religious symbols in the same manner and to the same extent that other types of clothing, accessories, and jewelry that display messages or symbols are permitted. Requires the department of education, in collaboration with the attorney general's office and organizations with expertise in religious civil liberties, to establish a model policy. Provides that each school corporation may include as an elective in the school corporation's high school curriculum a course surveying religions of the world.
The current state of this bill can be read about here.
HB 1029 - School employment and teacher licensure. Amends the time period by which a school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school must conduct expanded criminal history checks for applicants for noncertificated employment or certificated employment. Requires a school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school to conduct an expanded child protection index check concerning each applicant for noncertificated employment or certificated employment before or not later than two months after the applicant's employment. Provides that a school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school shall require an expanded criminal history check and expanded child protection index check on each employee every five years. Provides that a school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school may implement the requirement for updated background checks for current employees over a five year period. Provides that the employee is responsible for costs associated with obtaining the background checks unless the school corporation, charter school, or nonpublic school agrees to pay the costs. Makes an exception to the provision that an applicant or employee may not be required to obtain an expanded criminal history check or expanded child protection index check more than one time during a five year period. Requires each school corporation and charter school to adopt a policy requiring the school employer of the school corporation or charter school to contact references and, if applicable, the most recent employer provided by a prospective employee, before the school corporation or charter school may hire the prospective employee. Prohibits a school from hiring persons who have been convicted of certain crimes. Adds human trafficking to the list of offenses requiring license revocation. Permits the department of education (department) to reinstate the license of a person convicted of certain crimes if the conviction is reversed, vacated, or set aside on appeal. Requires the division of state court administration to weekly transmit a list of persons convicted of specified crimes to the department, and requires the department to: (1) compare this list with the department's list of licensed employees; and (2) institute revocation proceedings if a licensed employee has been convicted of a specified offense. Provides that a presentence investigation includes gathering information with respect to whether the convicted defendant holds a teaching license or is a teacher. Provides that a superintendent (in addition to a principal under current law) may initiate the cancellation of a teacher's contract by providing notice to the teacher of the superintendent's preliminary decision.
HB 1130 -Protections for student journalists. Provides freedom of speech and freedom of press protections for grades 9 through 12 and state educational institution student journalists. Requires each school corporation and charter school to adopt a policy concerning student journalist protections. Provides that a public school or school corporation may not suppress school sponsored media unless certain conditions apply. Provides that public schools, school corporations, and state educational institutions are immune from civil liability for any injury resulting from school sponsored media produced by a student journalist except for acts or omissions that constitute gross negligence or willful, wanton, or intentional misconduct.
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.
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.
More information can be found here.
Senator Donnelly, where do you stand on school privatization? Bringing Cory Booker to Indiana is a slap in the face to your constituents who care about public schools.
After the bruising nomination of wealthy school privatization advocate Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, why feature Cory Booker at a fundraiser in Monroe County, Indiana?
Like Betsy DeVos, Cory Booker is a “school choice” proponent.
So-called “school choice” policies are hurting Indiana’s public schools.
Taxpayer funds for education are being diverted to private, religious schools. Since 2011, $520 million in state funds has funded private education in Indiana through the voucher program. Private schools in Indiana are overwhelmingly religious. Even when they receive public money, private schools
Charters schools have also received large increases in funding. Charters are not accountable to the public through democratically elected school boards. Many charters are run by for-profit entities.
Between 2009 and 2015, brick-and-mortar charter funding expanded by $539 million. Virtual (online) charter funding expanded from zero to $248 million. Public school funding fell by over $3 billion and, adjusted for inflation, has not returned to 2009 levels.
Senator Donnelly, "school choice" is a clever name for policies that subject what should be a human right--public education--to the private, commercial pressures of a market. We call on you to support our public schools, which have a mission and responsibility to serve all children.
Attention all Indiana voters: Your powers to elect a State Superintendent of Public Instruction are in jeopardy. Voters can defend the powers they have had for 166 years at a hearing this Monday, March 27 at 10 a.m. in the Senate Chamber.
Come to speak if you can or send messages to your Senators opposing House Bill 1005.
Is our democracy in Indiana fading? How much do voters want to keep their powers?
The leaders of the Senate have decided that when 26 Senators voted no on Senate Bill 179, nearly identical to House Bill 1005, it was not "decisively defeated." They want to bring it back to life.
The Senate has a rule regarding a defeated bill that says "that exact language or substantially similar language shall be considered decisively defeated and shall not be considered again during the session."
The Senate is apparently ready to interpret that rule to help the Governor and allow another vote on a similar bill with a few changes.
The Rules Committee will consider the bill and amendments to the bill at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 27 in the Senate Chamber.
Will Indiana voters defend their powers?
House Bill 1005 passed the House and will now be considered by the Senate after Senate leaders decided how to negate their own rule on "decisively defeated" bills. House Bill 1005 ends the use of the name "State Superintendent of Public Education" and would have the Governor appoint a "secretary of education." House Bill 1005 also removes the two-year Indiana residency requirement and requires no experience or licensing in education, stating only that the appointee would serve at the pleasure of the Governor for a salary determined by the Governor.
No amendments to HB 1005 have been posted, but speculation about changes includes three topics:
Power Leaves the People and Goes to the Governor
None of these possible amendments would change the basic question: Do Hoosier voters agree that they should give up the power to select the Indiana state school superintendent, a power they have had for 166 years, and to hand that power over to the Governor?
I say no. I say that voters should elect an independent voice to be the executive of the education system in Indiana, just as the framers of our Constitution intended.
No doubt the Governor would love to have the power to select the State Superintendent, but that would remove the power of voters to name an independent leader who knows Indiana education. Keeping this power in the hands of the people is what democracy is all about. We should maintain this power that voters have had for 166 years.
Are we about to diminish our democracy after 166 years? Are we about to diminish public education in Indiana by removing the public from the selection of the State Superintendent?
Is this just one more step in the death spiral of public education in Indiana envisioned by Milton Friedman and his followers?
Contact Senators to Keep the Power in the Hands of Voters
Individual voters need to step up to the plate if they want to keep their powers at the ballot box. Voters are about to lose a big one if they are not heard loudly and clearly in the next few days.
Besides emails and messages to Senators, I hope some voters will show up to testify that our democracy should not be diminished and voters should not lose their powers to the Governor.
The first Senators to contact are onthe Rules Committee which will vote on House Bill 1005 Monday morning, March 27th in the 10 am meeting.
The members of the Rules Committee to be contacted are:
Republican Senators Long, Holdman, Bray, Charbonneau, Eckerty, Hershman, Kruse and Merritt
Democratic Senators Lanane, Breaux, Randolph andTallian
(Group email for your "to" field:)
Then contact your own Senator or any Senator about this bill. They will all vote again on this proposal as they did on February 20th when 26 Senators voted no. You can thank all 26 in the list below and ask them to maintain their opposition:
Senators Becker, Glick, Leising, Stoops, Bohacek, Grooms, Melton, Tallian, Breaux, Head, Mishler, Taylor, Crane, Kenley, Mrvan, Tomes, Crider, Koch, Niemeyer, Young, Doriot, Kruse, Niezgodski, Ford, Lanane, Randolph
Group email for your "to" field:
In this era of activism and resistance, the voters of Indiana who don't want to lose their powers in our democracy need to go to work right away to oppose House Bill 1005!
Thank you for actively supporting public education in Indiana!
Vic Smith email@example.com