First, please note that some bills require action. They are listed first. Please contact your legislators.
HB1315 Various Education Matters. This is a loaded bill that no one who supports public education would support. Please reach out to your legislators and let them know that you are against this bill. Read more about it here.
HB1398 Coalition of school corporations. Contact your legislator to say put the brakes on HB 1398, scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday. It would establish vague "continuous improvement districts" which could suspend state statutes and rules for teachers licensure, curriculum, and calendar. Read more here.
*** Both bills are on the schedule to be heard Monday by the House.
HB1179 textbook bill. We support this bill as it would eliminate textbook fees in public schools. Please let your legislators know that you support this and believe it needs to be heard by the House Ways & Means Committee. Read more about it here.
Education Bills to Be Heard by the House Ways & Means Committee on Monday, 1/29 at 10:30 a.m.
Reorganization of workforce funding and programs. Repeals various educational and workforce training programs and provides for program phase outs, effective July 1, 2019. Requires the state workforce innovation council to review each proposed grant award by the department of workforce development (department) before the grant is awarded by the department. Establishes the next level workforce training and development fund (fund) as a dedicated fund for certain state workforce training and development programs. Dedicates all corporate adjusted gross income tax revenues to the fund. Requires the creation of accounts within the fund. Establishes the employer workforce training grant fund to provide money for grants to eligible employers that incur costs or expenses for training programs that allow their employees or prospective employees in Indiana to attain a work related degree, certification, or credential. Makes a continuous appropriation from the employer workforce training grant fund to the Indiana economic development corporation. Requires the state board of education, when establishing an apprenticeship as a graduation pathway requirement, to establish as an apprenticeship only an apprenticeship program registered under the federal National Apprenticeship Act or another federal apprenticeship program administered by the United States Department of Labor. Provides that an emancipated student or the parent of a student enrolled in a career or technical course may voluntarily release information, on a form prescribed by the department of education, pertaining to the student's enrollment in the career and technical education course to potential employers that contact the school to recruit students with particular career and technical skills. Requires the department to: (1) develop information regarding workforce needs in Indiana; (2) assign at least two employees at each one stop center (one stop centers provide access to services required by the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014) to work with school counselors; and (3) upon request of a school corporation, make a presentation to middle school and high school counselors. Makes the following changes concerning the high value workforce ready credit-bearing grant: (1) Removes a requirement that, to be eligible to receive a grant, an applicant must be financially independent. (2) Removes a requirement that, to be eligible to receive a grant, an applicant must be financially independent and not have previously received a baccalaureate degree, an associate degree, or an eligible certificate. (3) Requires the commission for higher education to give priority in awarding a grant to an applicant who has not previously received a baccalaureate degree, an associate degree, or an eligible certificate. Requires workforce and education information as part of the biennial budget report that is submitted to the governor and state budget committee for preparation of the governor's proposed budget bill. Makes conforming amendments.
HB1426 Education matters. Requires the state board of education (state board) to establish one Indiana diploma for individuals who successfully complete high school graduation requirements. (Current law establishes four different diplomas.) Provides that each Indiana diploma must include one of the following designations: (1) General designation. (2) Core 40 designation. (3) Core 40 with academic honors designation. (4) Core 40 with technical honors designation. Requires, in adopting Core 40 curriculum models, the state board to consider math course requirements other than Algebra II. Allows the state board to adopt rules to establish: (1) math course requirements; and (2) science course requirements; for the Core 40 curriculum models. . Repeals provisions that: (1) require the state board to design a high school diploma for the high school fast track program; and (2) establish a subcommittee to make recommendations regarding diplomas and certain course requirements and develop the requirements for a career and technical education diploma. Provides that a nationally recognized college entrance exam shall be administered as part of the statewide assessment program for high school students. Eliminates the requirement of end of course assessments to be administered as part of the statewide assessment program. Resolves a conflict in a provision that requires the state board to develop guidelines to assist secondary schools to identify students likely to require remediation. Eliminates a requirement that a student must take a college and career readiness examination if the student is identified under the guidelines developed by the state board to likely be in need of remediation. Provides that certain statewide assessments must use a scale score that will ensure the statewide assessment scores are comparable to assessment scoring used as part of the ISTEP program, before its expiration. Provides that a student may receive a waiver from the postsecondary readiness competency requirements that are part of the graduation pathway requirements if the student meets certain conditions. Provides that the state board of education may authorize the use of the graduation examination as a graduation requirement for cohorts that graduate before July 1, 2023. Provides that the state board may approve a local graduation pathway. Establishes the local graduation pathway fund (fund). Provides that the state board may award development grants from the fund for proposed local graduation pathways. Makes conforming amendments.
Read more here.
Education Bills to Be Heard by the House Education Committee on Monday, 1/29 at 10:30 a.m.
School safety. Requires the department of education (department) to maintain a link on the department's Internet web site providing parents and school officials with resources or best practices regarding the prevention or reporting of cyberbullying. Requires the department to maintain a link on the department's Internet web site regarding the identification and reporting of human trafficking. Requires certain employees of a school corporation or an accredited nonpublic school to receive at least one hour of inservice training annually pertaining to the identification and reporting of human trafficking. Provides that a school corporation's disciplinary rules pertaining to bullying must prohibit bullying through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer or through a cellular telephone or other wireless or cellular communications device. (Current law provides that a school corporation's disciplinary rules pertaining to bullying must prohibit bullying through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer.)
Bullying. Provides that a school corporation is not required to report the number of incidents of bullying in the school corporation's annual school performance report. Provides that information reported by a school corporation relating to the number of incidents of bullying that occur may not be used in calculation of a school's annual school improvement grade. Provides that the department of education (department) must annually send a letter to each school corporation explaining: (1) the school corporation's obligation to submit a report to the department containing the number of bullying incidents involving a student; and (2) that the department may conduct an audit of the school corporation to ensure that bullying incidents are accurately reported. Provides that the department may conduct an audit of a school corporation to ensure that bullying incidents are accurately reported. Provides that the department must report discrepancies of an audit on the department's Internet web site. Requires the department to conduct a statewide survey concerning the improvement of school corporation reporting of incidents of bullying involving a student to the department. Requires, not later than November 1, 2018, the department to submit a report to the general assembly.
Various education matters. Makes changes relating to how parents of students are nominated and approved to be members of the commission on seclusion and restraint in schools. Provides that a student with special needs who has a service plan or a choice scholarship education plan may be admitted to the Indiana School for the Deaf. Provides that a student who is withdrawn from enrollment from a virtual charter school for failure to participate in courses pursuant to the school's student engagement policy may not reenroll in that same virtual charter school for the school year in which the student is withdrawn. Defines "education records". Requires an organizer of a charter school that is closing for any reason to establish a charter school closure protocol that explains to a parent of a student enrolled in the charter school the procedure that the charter school uses to transfer a student's education records to: (1) a new school in which the parent plans to enroll the student; (2) the student's school of legal settlement (if the parent does not know in which school the parent plans to enroll the student and the parent provides consent for the disclosure); and (3) the department of education. Repeals a provision concerning the transfer of student records. Makes conforming amendments. Resolves a conflict between P.L.217-2017 and P.L.250-2017.
School discipline. Provides that an evidence based plan for improving student behavior and discipline in a school corporation must aspire to: (1) reduce out-of-school suspension and disproportionality in discipline and expulsion; and (2) limit referrals to law enforcement or arrests on school property to cases in which referral to law enforcement or arrest is necessary to protect the health and safety of other students or school employees. Adds a definition of "exclusion". Adds a definition of "positive discipline". Provides that discipline policies established by a superintendent or member of the superintendent's administrative staff must be consistent with positive discipline practices. Provides that a school's discipline policy must include a graduated system of discipline and incorporate positive discipline principles. Makes various changes to provisions relating to school discipline to reduce student exclusion from school. Repeals a provision that provides that a principal may require a student who is at least 16 years of age and wishes to reenroll in school after an expulsion to attend certain alternative educational programs.
Read more here.
Education Bills to be Heard by the Senate on Monday 1/29 at 1:30 p.m.
Computer science. Establishes the next level computer science grant program (program) and the next level computer science fund (fund) to award grants, after June 30, 2019, to eligible entities to implement teacher professional development programs for training in teaching computer science. Requires the department of education (department) to: (1) administer the program and fund; and (2) develop, in consultation with the governor's office, guidelines to award grants from the fund to eligible entities. Requires, not later than August 1, 2018, the state superintendent of public instruction to enter into a contract for professional development services. Requires the department to biannually submit a progress report to the governor regarding the: (1) development and administration of the program and fund; and (2) status of public schools in meeting computer science curriculum requirements. Provides that, if the department does not comply with the requirements regarding the program and fund, the state board of education shall assume the department's duties. Requires (beginning July 1, 2021) each public school to offer a computer science course as a one semester elective course in its curriculum at least once each school year to high school students. Requires (beginning July 1, 2021) each public school to include computer science in the public school's science curriculum for students in kindergarten through grade 12.
Instruction on human sexuality. Requires each school corporation to make available for inspection to a parent of a student instructional material used in connection with instruction on human sexuality. Prohibits a school from providing a student with instruction on human sexuality unless the parent of the student or the student (if the student is an adult or an emancipated minor) consents to the instruction. Establishes requirements regarding the consent form. Requires the department of education and the governing body of a school corporation to give parents and students notice of these requirements.
Dyslexia. Requires the following: (1) A school multidisciplinary team must include information about dyslexia in a student's educational evaluation if the multidisciplinary team determines that the student is eligible to receive special education and related services and has or has characteristics of dyslexia. (2) Information about dyslexia must be: (A) discussed by the student's case conference committee if information about dyslexia is included in the student's educational evaluation; and (B) included in the student's individualized education program if the case conference committee determines that the information should be included. Requires school corporations and charter schools to screen: (1) each student in kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2; and (2) certain other students. Establishes requirements regarding dyslexia screenings, notifications to parents, and dyslexia intervention services (including instructional approaches). Requires school corporations and charter schools to: (1) use the response to intervention process to address needs of students who are determined to have characteristics of dyslexia; and (2) obtain parental consent before administering a level I dyslexia screening or a level II dyslexia screening. Allows a student's parent to elect to have an independent comprehensive dyslexia evaluation of the student. Requires school corporations and charter schools to report annually to the department of education (department) regarding the number of students who were: (1) administered the initial dyslexia screening during the school year; and (2) determined to be at risk, or at some risk, for dyslexia. Requires a school corporation and charter school to report on the school corporation's or charter school's Internet web site certain information regarding dyslexia. Requires, not later than July 1, 2019, the department to employ at least one dyslexia specialists. Establishes the: (1) requirements for a dyslexia specialist; and (2) services the dyslexia specialist is required to provide. Requires, not later than the 2019-2020 school year, each school corporation and charter school to employ at least one individual to serve as a dyslexia interventionist for the school corporation or charter school. Requires, not later than the 2019-2020 school year, the department to ensure that each teacher receives professional awareness information on dyslexia. Requires the department to develop and update an Indiana dyslexia resource guide.
Read more here.
Education Bills to be Heard by the House on Monday 1/29 at 1:30 p.m
School corporation financial management. Allows the distressed unit appeal board (DUAB) to delegate board authority, duties, and responsibilities to the executive director by resolution of the board. Permits only the emergency manager to petition the DUAB to terminate a political subdivision's distressed status. Allows the DUAB to adopt rules. Requires the attorney general to represent a member of the fiscal management board, an emergency manager, a chief financial officer, or a chief academic officer if the individual requests the representation. Specifies restrictions on school corporations that are designated distressed. Allows a limited reduction in employees for distressed school corporation after September 30 of a year. Specifies that waivers regarding the allocation of protected taxes apply only to distressed school corporations and not other distressed units. Makes changes concerning the Gary Community school corporation and its operation. Converts the Gary Community school corporation's governing board to an advisory committee. Provides that the Gary Community school corporation advisory committee may not hold a public meeting more often than once every three months and provides that any other meetings are authorized executive sessions under the open door law. Removes the laws concerning the Muncie Community School Corporation being a fiscally impaired school corporation. Permits the Ball State University board of trustees to adopt a resolution to govern the Muncie Community school corporation using a newly appointed seven member governing board. Requires the governing body to engage academically innovative strategies. Specifies that only certain laws in IC 20 will apply to the Muncie Community school corporation. Specifies other conditions. Permits the DUAB to recommend to the state board of finance that the state board of finance make an interest free loan to the Muncie Community Schools. Establishes a fiscal and qualitative indicators committee to make initial determinations about the fiscal and qualitative factors to be used in analyzing the financial condition of school corporations. Specifies certain factors that may be used. Requires the fiscal and qualitative indicators committee to make initial determinations about the presentation of the factors and the financial condition of school corporations to the public and the frequency of updates. Requires the fiscal and qualitative indicators committee to report its findings, recommendations, and procedures to the state budget committee before being made final. Requires the DUAB to present school financial condition information on its Internet web site or the management performance hub (MPH)'s Internet web site. Sets minimum standards for presenting the information. Requires the DUAB to determine the financial condition of each school corporation and whether a school corporation should be placed on a watch list. Requires the DUAB to report to the state budget committee the process that will be used between contacting a school corporation about its financial condition and being placed on the watch list, including a report on what factors will cause a school corporation to be put on the watch list, any particular funding issues that may cause a school corporation to be on the watch list, and when the list will be made public. Provides that if a school corporation remains on the watch list for four consecutive years, the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents shall decide if it is appropriate to recommend to the Indiana department of education whether disciplinary action should be taken by the department regarding the superintendent. Permits the DUAB to enter into an agreement with a school corporation showing fiscal distress to establish a corrective action plan. Requires various reports.
Coalition of school corporations. Provides that the state board of education may approve a coalition of continuous improvement school districts (coalition). Provides that certain statutes or rules may be suspended for a coalition member.
School corporation financial management. Provides that a school corporation's rainy day fund may be used to pay for teacher bonuses and stipends. Permits money in a school corporation's operations fund at the end of a year to be transferred to the school corporation's rainy day fund. Combines various levies into a single operations fund levy beginning in 2019. Changes provisions concerning the education fund and operations fund. Specifies the items to be included in a school corporation's capital projects plan. Changes the reasons for which a school corporation may appeal to increase the school corporation's operations fund levy for transportation purposes. Requires an appeal to increase or a petition to adjust the maximum operations fund levy for a year to be filed before October 20 of the preceding year. Resolves conflicts among various 2017 acts that take effect before the education funding and accounting changes made by HEA 1009-2017. Make technical changes.
Students receiving foster care services. Requires the State board of education to, in collaboration with the department of education (department) and the of child services, prepare a report on foster care youth educational outcomes. Requires the department to, before November 1, 2018, and before November 1 each year thereafter, submit the report to the department of child services and legislative council. Requires certain information regarding students receiving foster care to be included in a school corporation's annual performance report. Requires the department of child services to, not later than 10 days after a child who attends public school is placed in foster care, notify the department that the child has been placed in foster care.
Read more here.
Education Bills to Be Heard by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee on Wednesday, 1/31 at 1:30 p.m.
Racial balance levy and fund. Repeals provisions regarding the racial balance levy and the racial balance fund. Provides that any money in a school corporation's racial balance fund on January 1, 2019, must be transferred to the school corporation's operations fund.
Workforce ready grant. Provides that an applicant is eligible to receive a high value workforce ready noncredit-bearing grant if the applicant has been accepted for enrollment in a noncredit-bearing credential or similar program that offers a certification or credential upon completion that is approved by the department of workforce development. Provides that the credential or similar program may be offered by any public, private, or nonprofit entity, including a postsecondary educational institution. Provides that the noncredit-bearing credential or similar programs determined to be eligible for the high value workforce ready noncredit-bearing grant may not be limited to programs offered by a postsecondary educational institution.
The Indiana high school diploma. Requires the state board of education (state board) to establish one Indiana diploma for individuals who successfully complete high school graduation requirements. (Current law establishes four different diplomas.) Provides that an Indiana diploma may include one of the following distinctions: (1) Core 40 distinction. (2) Core 40 academic honors distinction. (3) Core 40 technical honors distinction. Provides that each student must meet course and credit requirements for an Indiana diploma. (Current law requires each student to meet Core 40 course and credit requirements and allows a student to be exempted from these requirements.) Removes certain requirements that a student may, if the student fails to meet a graduation pathway requirement, elect to complete to be eligible to graduate. Makes conforming changes. Repeals provisions that: (1) require the state board to design a high school diploma for the high school fast track program; (2) establish a subcommittee to make recommendations regarding diplomas and certain course requirements and develop the requirements for a career and technical education diploma; and (3) allow a student to be exempted from Core 40 curriculum requirements.
Teacher content area examination waiver. Provides that the department of education (department) may grant an initial practitioner's license to an individual who: (1) took the content area examination twice and did not pass; and (2) meets certain other requirements. Limits the number of individuals who may be granted an initial practitioner license without passing the content area examination. Provides that a postsecondary educational institution determines which individuals who have completed the institution's teacher preparation program are eligible. Establishes requirements for renewal of an initial practitioner license for an individual who did not pass the content area examination. Requires the department to post on the department's Internet web site the pass rate of the content area examination for each postsecondary educational institution.
Read more here.
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Compiled by Meghann Goetz and Keri Miksza