February 7 Legislative Updates

Statehouse Express Podcast

Season 5, Episode 3

Tune into the latest episode of the Statehouse Express podcast at the link below! This week's podcast features INPEA Executive Director John Elcesser, INPEA Associate Executive Director Chris Brunson, and Molly Collins, Executive Director of Policy and Government Affairs at the Institute for Quality Education. Molly and Chris share their thoughts on the session and what they expect to see as we head into the last half of the 2024 session.

We have reached Crossover, the halfway point of the legislative session when bills that pass out of one chamber move to the other chamber and start the entire process over again. Any bills that didn’t make through the first half of the session are basically dead, unless parts are amended into another bill.

Here's an update on some key bills INPEA is following:

  • SB 1, the priority reading bill, passed out of the Senate 36-13 and now moves to the House. Most of the concerns around this bill deal with it retention requirement, although, it also places a number of new regulations on state accredited non-public schools as well as on “eligible or choice schools”. There was a limited parent appeal amended into the bill on second reading. This is a priority bill for the Governor and leadership in both the House and Senate.
  • SB 8 requires all state accredited and eligible schools to offer the Indiana College Core or to submit an implementation plan to the Commission for Higher Education. We have shared our concerns with the folks at CHE about our smaller high schools' capacity to meet these requirements. SB 8 was slightly amended and it passed out of the Senate on thirds earlier this week. There is the possibility that the bill will be amended in the House to have schools that don’t have the capacity to offer the Indiana College Core to submit a feasibility report rather than an implementation plan. The reality is that some of our schools may never be able offer the Indiana College Core, either because of their size or the focus of their program.
  • SB 128 deals with the teaching of human sexuality. Our concern with this bill is that implies that non-public school boards have the same responsibilities as public school boards. This would include things like approving curriculum materials, which we know in most cases non-public school boards do not do. This Tuesday, it was on seconds and passed out of the Senate on thirds as well.
  • HB 1233 broadens the eligibility of the robotics competition grants to include non-pubs that are accredited by a state board approved third party accreditor. It passed out of the House 96-0 and now heads to the Senate.
  • HB 1243, which is a various education matters bill, includes language about the new diploma requirements and the waiver process for bucket three requirements in graduation pathways. Another part of the bill, which I have heard some concerns from some of our high school leaders, deals with the 2029 graduation requirement of successfully completing a computer science course as a separate subject. There is hope that the upcoming changes in diploma requirements will address some of those concerns. HB 1243 also passed out of the House 96-0.
  • HB 1304, another various education matters bill, includes language to align the choice birthdate requirement of October 1 to be consistent with all three choice programs. It also included language to address a feeder school issue for non-public elementary schools feeding into a public high school.

For more information on the bills mentioned above, download the episode at the link below.

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