INPEA Statehouse Express

Statehouse Express: Season 4, Episode 3

February 07, 2023 INPEA Season 4 Episode 3
INPEA Statehouse Express
Statehouse Express: Season 4, Episode 3
Show Notes Transcript

INPEA Executive Director John Elcesser provides a 5-minute overview of what's happening in the Indiana General Assembly. Get caught up with the latest episode of the Statehouse Express! 

Statehouse Express: Season 4, Episode #3

Hi, This is John Elcesser, Executive Director here at INPEA and welcome aboard the third episode of  the 2023 edition of the Statehouse Express. Relatively speaking it was somewhat of a quiet week for education legislation, at least for bills directly impacting non-public schools.

I started my Wednesday at the State Board of Education meeting, where among other things, Ron Sandlin gave the board an update on the newest iteration of the GPS Dashboard. Each release seems to allow folks to get a more granular look at the data on the dashboard. Make sure you have checked out your school’s dashboard to see if it accurately reflects your school’s data.

From the State Board meeting I took the underground tunnel over to the Statehouse for the House Education Committee meeting. The House Education committee heard 4 new bills and amended and voted on a fifth.

HB 1382 is a Robotics bill. It established a fund to assist with Robotics programs and competitions. INPEA testified in favor of the bill as did everyone else who testified, and the bill passed out of committee 12-0

INPEA also testified in favor of HB1492, a school safety bill. This bill combined the two school safety grant programs into one. Non-public schools historically were eligible to apply for one of the programs but not the other. Now non-public schools are eligible for the new combined grant program. They also expanded who can apply for this grant. Law enforcement agencies can apply if they do it in combination with a school or a group of schools. The fiscal request for the new combined grant program is 25 million dollars. The other two new bills in House Ed dealt with teacher prep programs or transition to teaching programs.

On the Senate Ed side, none of the new bills being heard have much direct impact on non-public schools. In Senate Ed, bills are not heard and voted on at the same meeting. New bills are presented by the author and testimony is heard. 

The following week those bills can be amended and then they are voted on. Last Wednesday they voted on four bills and then heard four new bills as well.

SB 340 which provides funding for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library passed out of committee 12-0. This program provides books on a monthly basis to low- income families.

SB380 deals primarily with how waivers factor into the graduation rate calculation. It passed out of committee 9-4.

Senator Rogers’ bill, SB443, eliminates some teacher training requirements moving them to teacher ed programs. This bill also had a number of items dealing with collective bargaining, so the teacher unions were outspoken in their opposition. The bill passed out of committee, but barely 7-6.

In terms of new bills, SB443, among other things, would raise the public-school minimum salary to $50,000.

SB402 is another bill that deals with the Science of Reading, although it takes a much more prescriptive approach as it relates to curriculum and licensure. It would prohibit the use of three-cueing model of reading instruction. Currently, non-public schools are not included but one public school lobbyist suggested the inclusion of state accredited non-public schools. we’ll see what the author does with that suggestion.

The House ed. Committee is scheduled to hear three more bills this Wednesday while the Senate Ed Committee has 4 new bills on their agenda as well.

As you will hear soon, if you haven’t already, we are planning a number of rally type events in 4 or 5 different regions around the state. It is very important that we mobilize our stakeholders if we’re going to have another successful session. Stay tuned and please engage if there is an event in your area.

That’s all we have for this episode, but we hope to see you back again next week for the next episode of the Statehouse express!