Capitol Insider

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Capitol Insider 

April 9, 2021 

 

We Cannot Stop 

              One attack after another.  Will we remember when it’s election time again?  Will we keep contacting legislators regardless of the fact that they keep ignoring us?  We MUST. 

              The House passed the onerous dues deduction bill, SB251.  It’s House sponsor claims it’s a pro-employee bill.  Pro-transparency.  The transparent part is they’re doing what they are doing because they can. 

              In House Ed on Wednesday, SB413 – Education Matters passed out of committee with amendment #24 adding: 

A school employer may allow governing body members and the public to participate in a public hearing under this subsection by means of electronic communication. Within forty-eight (48) hours after the public hearing, both parties shall certify to the board, in a manner prescribed by the board, that the public hearing described in this subsection has occurred. 

Then adding again plus more: 

A school employer may allow governing body members and the public to participate in a public hearing under this section by means of electronic communication. Within forty-eight (48) hours after the public hearing, both parties shall certify to the board, in a manner prescribed by the board, that the public hearing described in this subsection has occurred. After June 30, 2021, any collective bargaining agreement ratified without holding the public hearing described in this subsection is null and void

Can you sit quietly by while they attack and diminish collective bargaining even more? 

 

Senate Version of the Budget Bill (HB1001) 

              Senate Appropriations passed the Senate version of HB 1001 (Budget Bill).  Please know this is NOT the final budget.  From now on, discussions between the chambers will be mostly behind closed doors.  Public comment is essentially over.  That does not mean YOU cannot contact your legislators. 

              This version of the bill includes: Indiana Education Scholarship Accounts defining “eligible student” with specific age limits, Indiana resident, qualified for special ed grant, and meets income qualification requirement.  This is narrower than the House has proposed.  Details will be determined when the two sides meet. 

              It eliminates the three tiers of income so that by 2023 all will be moved to 90%.  It increases pathways to 200% of Free and Reduced Lunch in 2022 and to 225% in 2023. 

              The charter school grant increases from $750 to $1000.  It also increases the tax credit for Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) over two years from $16.5 million to $18.5 million. 

              It increases the complexity depending on certain criteria, keeps virtual funding at 85%, maintains TAG funding at $37.5 million/year.  Restores funding to CTE courses removed in the House, funds learning loss at $150 million. 

              All together the Senate version appropriates $15.4 billion over the next two years to K-12 Tuition Support providing $875 million additional dollars to K-12.  REMEMBER, traditional, charters, and vouchers are all in the same line item for K-12.  If transparency were truly important to the supermajority, each kind of school funding would be separate. 

              All in all, the Senate version increases tuition support by 1.2% in 2022 and 4.2% in 2023.  It leaves $2 billion in reserves at the end of the biennium. 

              Among amendments offered by Senate Democrats were changes in K-12 funding, increase teacher pay, increase the minimum wage, provide 12 months of extended postpartum care to mothers  --- all were defeated party line. 

              This is NOT the final budget.  The House and the Senate will hammer out specifics starting from their own versions.  And on April 14 or 15 is the latest budget forecast.  It is expected to be good and could (should) affect the final State Budget in a positive way. 

              

You can still tell your legislators:  

Say NO to ESAs! 

Say NO to voucher expansion! 

 

 

Helpful Links 

 

 

AFT Indiana Calendar 

  • April 15 - Zoom with AFT IN Leaders.  Contact your president for a link. 7 PM Eastern/6 PM Central.  
  • April 21 – Anticipated sine die for the Legislative Session. 
  • May 1 Annual Convention - The Convention will be VIRTUAL.  A zoom link will be sent to presidents when the date is closer. Please contact Erin Suttle at assistant@aftindiana.org with any questions concerning Convention.  If you have booked rooms, PLEASE CANCEL THOSE NOW. 

 

 

 

 Sally J Sloan

Executive Director
AFT Indiana
445 N. Pennsylvania, Suite 510
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-299-5395, ext. 301