First, an update on two controversial education bills.
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. SB 567 has moved on to committee for review.
Here is the timeline and the legislators to contact:
H 04/12/2017 House advisors appointed: Braun, Karickhoff, Behning, Brown C, Errington, Smith V and Wright
S 04/12/2017 Senate advisors appointed: Charbonneau, Lanane and Buck
H 04/12/2017 House conferees appointed: Brown T and Bauer
S 04/12/2017 Senate conferees appointed: Kenley and Melton
S 04/12/2017 Senate dissented from House amendments
The committee meeting dates have not been announced yet.
You can read more about the MCS and the emergency board meeting tonight here.
Follow their local ICPE group on Facebook here.
As for Gary, Indiana, this article sums it up.
”I tried my best to make this bill better,” lamented Rep Vernon Smith. “One gets the feeling that those from wealthier communities don’t understand the challenges our community faces and, sadly, I am beginning to believe they really don’t care.”
One has to wonder if these potential state takeovers are a siren warning public schools districts, especially those in low-income areas - both urban and rural - of the coming storm.
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.
HB 1384 has moved on to committee.
Here is the timeline and the legislators to contact:
S 04/12/2017 Senate advisors appointed: Kruse, Stoops, Bassler, Crane and Zay
H 04/12/2017 House advisors appointed: Cook, DeVon, DeLaney, Errington and Pryor
S 04/12/2017 Senate conferees appointed: Raatz and Melton
H 04/12/2017 House conferees appointed: Behning and Smith V
You can read more on HB 1384 here.
Education Bills to Be Concurred by the Senate
More details can be found here.
SB 196 - School debt service obligations. Provides the following for purposes of the school bond payment intercept statute: (1) The term "debt service obligations" also includes principal and interest payable to a school corporation's designated paying agent under a written agreement entered into in connection with the issuance of a school corporation's general obligation bonds. (2) Upon being notified of a school corporation's failure to pay debt service obligations when due, the treasurer of state shall within five days pay the unpaid debt service obligations that are due from state funds, in an amount equal to the amount of the unpaid debt service obligations that are due to the claimant (but only to the extent that amounts are available to the treasurer of state to fulfill this requirement). (3) The treasurer of state shall provide notice of the request by a claimant to the budget director, the auditor of state, and any department or agency of the state responsible for distributing funds appropriated by the general assembly for distribution to the school corporation from state funds, and such a department or agency of the state shall transfer those funds to the treasurer of state for purposes of paying the unpaid debt service obligations. (4) The amounts made available to the treasurer of state for this purpose shall be made from the following sources and in the following order of priority: (A) First, from amounts appropriated by the general assembly for the state fiscal year for distribution to the school corporation from state funds. (B) Second, from any remaining amounts appropriated by the general assembly for distribution for tuition support in each state fiscal year in excess of the aggregate amount of tuition support needed for distribution to school corporations. (C) Third, to the extent that the general assembly has adopted a biennial budget appropriating amounts in the immediately succeeding state fiscal year for distribution to the school corporation from state funds, then from such fund or account, as determined by the state budget director (from which fund or account there is appropriated to the treasurer of state an amount equal to the lesser of: (i) the unpaid debt service obligations not paid from the other sources; or (ii) the amount appropriated by the general assembly for the immediately succeeding state fiscal year for distribution to the school corporation). (5) If any amounts are transferred to the treasurer of state to pay the unpaid debt service obligations of the school corporation, the applicable department or agency shall recover those amounts by deducting an amount equal to the transfer from any future amounts to be distributed to the school corporation from state funds.