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Capitol Insider 

March 17, 2023 

Sub-Committee on School Funding 

            The Appropriations Sub-Committee on School Funding began hearings this week to consider school funding in HB 1001 (a.k.a. the Budget Bill).  Included in the House version is a 70% increase for private school vouchers compared to a 5% increase for public school corporations.  The House budget increased the cap to qualify for a voucher from an income of less than $30,000 for a family of four to an income of $220,000 for a family of four! 

            Of concern to AFT Indiana is the expanded voucher, the potential of charter schools automatically getting referendum money, and the lack of accountability to all except our traditional public schools. 

What We’ve Learned about Voucher Distribution 

            Did you know that regardless of how many, if any, voucher schools you have in your district and county that your school is losing money to vouchers? Dr. Phil Downs joined our zoom on Thursday to share his findings.  Dr. Downs has served as superintendent at MSD Southwest Allen County and is currently Director of Education Graduate Programs and Accreditation at Trine University.  Check out his page at 

House Education Action 

Vote and Amend Only Bills 

167 - FAFSA. Requires all students, except for students at certain nonpublic schools, in the student's senior year to complete and submit the FAFSA not later than April 15 [with exceptions and waiver provisions]. Passed committee 11-1. 

342 - Teacher hiring. Prohibits a school corporation or charter school from employing or contracting with specified individuals, and prohibits a school corporation or charter school from hiring or contracting with certain other individuals without a majority vote of the school board (or equivalent for a charter school). Provides that, if a school corporation or charter school hires a specified individual, the school must: The bill was held – no vote taken at this hearing. 

Testimony Taken  

168 - Statewide assessment results. Requires (rather than permits) the DOE to include in a contract with a statewide assessment vendor entered into or renewed after June 30, 2023, a requirement that the vendor provide a summary of a student's statewide assessment results.  

321 - Student health matters. Requires the state department of health to develop first aid guidelines for use by schools in Indiana. Provides that the guidelines must include information on administering emergency assistance before emergency medical personnel arrive etc. Requires the state department of health and the state DOE to publish the guidelines on their websites. Eliminates the requirement that a school corporation include a high school student's immunization information in the student's official high school transcript. Prohibits a school corporation from including in a student's high school transcript: (1) any information from the student's immunization record that is kept by the student's school under IC~20-34-4-1; or (2) any other health related record concerning the student. [The intent of this bill is to decouple vaccination/immunization records from academic records.] 

340 - Imagination library. Establishes the Indiana imagination library. Provides that the state library shall administer the Indiana imagination library. Establishes the Indiana imagination library fund, which is non-reverting. [There is more in the bill if you want to read it. This is the Imagination Library started by Dolly Parton.] Bill passed committee 10-1 and recommitted to Ways and Means. 

404 - Access to transcripts. Provides that a state educational institution or private postsecondary educational institution operated for profit (institution) in Indiana may not refuse to provide a transcript on the grounds that the student owes a debt to the institution; (2) charge a higher fee for obtaining a transcript or provide less favorable treatment of a request for a transcript or (3) withhold from a current or former student's transcript any degrees earned on the grounds that the student owes a debt to the institution; if the student has paid certain amounts in the past year on the debt owed. Provides that a current or former student may bring a civil action against an institution for a violation of these provisions. Bill passed 11-0. 

Senate Education Action 

Vote and Amend Only Bills 

1382 - Robotics programs. Establishes the robotics competition program to provide grants to eligible schools and eligible robotics teams…. Requires that a grant awarded to an eligible robotics team be used for certain allowable expenses. [More.]  Bill passed 13-0. 


1449 - Twenty-first century scholars’ program. Amends the twenty-first century scholars program (program) eligibility requirements for certain students. Bill passed 13-0; recommitted to Appropriations. 

1528 - Next generation Hoosier educators scholarship program. Provides that an individual enrolled in a transition to teaching program or an alternative teacher certification program may apply for a one-time scholarship under the next generation Hoosier educators scholarship program. [More.] Bill passed committee 11-2; recommitted to Appropriations. 

1591 - Education matters[Note: This synopsis has been abbreviated. The bill contains many provisions. See the bill if you are interested in reading all of them.]  Provides that: (1) any course of a career and technical education program of study …; and (2) the virtual course is eligible for a career and technical education grant. Provides that the amount that an eligible choice scholarship student may receive includes any other fees associated with the enrollment or participation in any course selected by the eligible choice scholarship [a.k.a. voucher] student…would be obligated to pay to the eligible school. Requires special education grade 8 through 12 case conference committees to discuss decision making skills and alternatives to appointing a guardian. Requires a school corporation to expend at least 62% of the school corporation's tuition support on teacher compensation. (Current law requires a school corporation to expend at least 45%.) Provides that at-risk students who are receiving certain educational services are not counted against a school's four-year graduation rate. No vote taken. 

Testimony Taken  

1447 - Education matters. Provides that, if a school corporation or qualified school uses a third-party vendor in providing certain personal analyses, evaluations, or surveys, neither may record, collect, or maintain the responses to or results of the analysis, evaluation, or survey in a manner that would identify the responses or results of an individual student. Provides that, if a school uses a third-party vendor, the school must provide parents or students, as applicable, two requests for written consent before administering.  

1590 - Various education matters. Makes various changes to the education law concerning the following: (1) The science of reading and teacher preparation and licensing requirements. (2) The grant for benchmark, formative, interim, or similar assessments with regards to a universal screener that screens for dyslexia. (3) Eligibility requirements for the next level computer science program. (4) Reading deficiency remediation plan requirements. (5) Payments and funding for excess costs of educating certain students with disabilities. (6) The use of funds from the Senator David C. Ford educational technology fund. (7) The fall count day of average daily membership (ADM). (8) Requirements and consequences for violations of the requirements regarding the Indiana diploma with honors designation award. (9) Requirements for public schools regarding adopting or replacing data technology systems. (10) The evaluation of curricular materials by the DOE. Makes provisions for dyslexia screening. [Changing fall count day from September to later – Oct. 1 or even Oct. 15 affects our collective bargaining effectively reducing an already short 2-month window to potentially 1-month. Remember, too, union membership must be reported by Oct. 15.] 

1635 - Various education matters. Amends the definition of "graduation" for the high school graduation rate determination and calculation. Requires the SBOE to: (1) develop algebra I, algebra II, and geometry courses that include real world application and project based and inquiry based learning; and (2) implement the courses not later than the 2025-2026 school year. Provides that if the state board establishes an Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery as a graduation pathway, the state board shall require a student who elects the pathway to enlist in the military as a condition of meeting the pathway requirements. Removes a provision that provides that not more than 1% of students of a cohort may receive the alterative diploma established by the state board. Removes a requirement that a school corporation record or include certain immunization information in the official high school transcript for a high school student. Provides that the state board shall assign to a school or school corporation (including adult high schools) a "null" or "no letter grade" for the 2022-2023 school year.  

Material Harmful to Minors – the Jail the Librarian and Ban the Book Bill 

            A coalition has come together spearheaded by the Indiana Library Federation to try to stop this bill (SB12).  I will be writing a sample message and send it to the Capitol Insider group.  Anyone who wants to join the effort should use that message, edit it to meet your needs, or write your own then send to YOUR representative.  Just YOUR representative.  Watch for that coming early next week.  The bill has not yet been posted for a hearing. 

Bi-Weekly Legislative Updates via Zoom 

            Members are invited to join AFT Indiana’s bi-weekly zoom.  Since participants are admitted by the host, please send a link request to Sally Sloan at  Include your name and local.  Names will be forwarded to zoom host Rick Matysak who will admit those on the list.  Every effort is made to keep these meetings to one hour.  Start time is 7 pm, Eastern.  The next meeting is scheduled for March 30th.     

To Subscribe or Unsubscribe 

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Helpful Links 

  • General Assembly page that will take you to almost anything you could want regarding the legislature and legislators. 
  • Find your own state legislator
  • For a list of ALL legislators, start on home page, see upper right (Search, Code, Bills, Legislators) – click on Legislators.  You have the option of ALL then download a pdf. 
  • All committees (then choose the one you want). 
  • Senate daily committee calendar
  • House daily committee calendar
  • If you click on “legislation,” you can get to bills by number, or choose by legislator, or by subject.  Resolutions are there, too. 
  • When the House and Senate are in session.    
  • There is a NEW page for the General Assembly.  Try it.  It’s good.  I just haven’t found everything there yet.     

    AFT Indiana Calendar 

    • March 30 -- AFT Indiana Legislative ZOOM, 7 PM Eastern/6 PM Central 
    • April 1 – Hotel reservations due for May 5 (Convention) 
    • April 13 -- AFT Indiana Legislative ZOOM, 7 PM Eastern/6 PM Central 
    • April 27 – tentative: AFT Indiana Legislative ZOOM, 7 PM Eastern/6 PM Central 
    • April 29 – statutory end of session 
    • May 5-6 – Annual Convention - The Convention will be in Anderson.  Presidents should receive a Convention Call near the end of January with all of the details.  Contact Erin Suttle [] with questions or concerns.  
Sally J Sloan
Executive Director
AFT Indiana
429 N. Pennsylvania, Suite 407
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Office: 317-299-5395, ext. 1