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Capitol Insider

April 6, 2017

IMPORTANT MESSAGES

1.  The Indiana Coalition for Public Education (ICPE) has planned a rally on April 18th, 3:30-4:30 PM (Eastern) at the Statehouse.  Please encourage anyone who can make it, to come.  Invite parents and other community members as this is about public school funding and their voices need to be heard!  House Budget has 1.1% and 1.7% in the two years; Senate is 1.7% and 1.7% in each year.

2.  The legislative session is scheduled to end April 21.  Because all public action from here on out will be quick, it is highly likely that there will not be a Capitol Insider next week.  A final one will come out as quickly as possible after the sine die gavel falls.

 

BILLS MOVE TO CONFERENCE COMMITTEES OR THE GOVERNOR’S DESK

          In keeping with the marathon tone of this session, bills have moved from committees, to 3rd readings, and back to the house of origin either to be forwarded to the Governor for his signature or to conference committee to negotiate a settlement; at this point, it mostly would be  guessing which.

HB 1001 always the budget bill will definitely end up in Conference Committee next week.  It will be difficult to track as much about 1001 goes on behind closed doors.  You should contact your legislators to discuss how the budget affects your district.  Find your school’s run here.  Get other budget details on the Senate Republican budget proposal page.

HB 1003 Student Assessments or the ILEARN bill returned to house of origin with amendments which means it is likely to go to conference committee.  We were hoping for a 2nd reading amendment that would have de-coupled teacher evaluation from the test.  For some reason, legislators seem dead set on keeping that.  We will try to make it happen in conference committee…if it goes there.

HB 1004  Prekindergarten Education (with language of SB276 inserted) passed 3rd reading in the Senate.  It could end up in conference committee or in the budget.  This version has no vouchers.  There is always a threat of those re-appearing.

HB1005 Superintendent of Public Instruction passed out of the Senate today on a close vote.  Hoosiers lose their voice in this effort to strip voters of their right to vote for Superintendent.  See roll call 363; be sure to say thank you to those who opposed this move.  So many spoke eloquently against the bill instead standing for voter rights.  Sen. Taylor reminded his colleagues that 49 years ago that day (April 4, 1968) Martin Luther King, Jr. died because he stood for the right to vote yet on that very anniversary, Indiana legislators turned back the hands of time by taking away voters right to vote.

HB 1024 Prayer in Schools passed through and is back in the House.  Modest amendments added; not sure if the author will concur or dissent.

HB 1449 Teacher induction pilot program - The bill would give new teachers, principals, and administrators mentoring support. While unfunded, it provides that grants for the program may be made from the teacher and student advancement grant fund. Interestingly, it establishes the Indiana educator residency pilot program of which only Marian University has.  The bill also  requests the subject be sent to an interim study committee.

HB 1463 Teacher Defined Contribution Plan – Bill would change retirement plan for new teachers.  They would have to choose between a defined benefit (current) and a defined contribution (a 401(k)-like account).  The bill was amended in the Senate; House author said it will go to conference committee.

HB 1537  Pensions 13th check returned to the House with amendments.  Conference Committee bound?

SB 108         Education Matters and more.  One major change is that the DOE was deleted and the Principals Association inserted to deal with the teacher evaluation part.  I talked to Rep. Thompson to ask him to amend his amendment that made the change.  He told me he would agree to that in conference committee.  Now let’s see if it goes to conference committee and if they’ll include our proposal.  And if he has what it takes to make that change.

SB 182  Says that a superintendent’s contract entered into or renewed after June 30, 2017, must, with an exception for an extension, be for a term of at least one year and not more than three years.  If the contract contains a provision that establishes an amount the governing body must pay to the superintendent to buy out the contract, the amount may not be more than an amount equal to the lesser of: (A) the superintendent's salary for any one year under the contract; or (B) $250,000. The bill also adds that a superintendent, in addition to a principal under current law, may initiate the cancellation of a teacher's contract.

You will remember SB 407, the anti-union bill that Sen. Houchin says is about “transparency” and “information.”  Although the bill has passed both houses, it has not yet made it to the Governor’s desk.  Given that, I wrote a letter to the Governor last week asking that he veto the bill.  I also said that I’d like to talk to him about it.  I followed up with a phone call asking for a meeting.  Well, I didn’t get to meet with the Governor, but did get to talk with his staff.  The meeting went well.  It’s wait and see now.  You have received an alert asking you to contact the Governor asking him to veto this bill.  Numbers count.  It’s important that you take this action.

SB 409 Collective Bargaining passed out of the House on 3rd reading.  The bill changes the dates for formal bargaining to begin to September 15 and adjusts other timeline dates correspondingly.  The bill passed unanimously.  It’s headed back to the House.  It’s unlikely it will go to conference committee.

SB 475 Developmental Delay -  Requires the state board of education to amend its rule establishing developmental delay as a disability category to provide that, beginning July 1, 2018, developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are 3-9 years of age. Currently, developmental delay is a disability category solely for students who are at least 3-5 years of age.  This adds developmental delay as a category for mild and moderate disabilities for purposes of determining special education grant amounts.  Currently HB 1001 has funding for this change.

SB 498 Teacher CompensationProvides a compensation model may use 33.33% instead of 33%  for experience and training.  Also amends the factor concerning additional content area degrees (i.e. Masters) and credit hours in determining a teacher's increase or increment in salary.  Away with “attainment” – in with “possession.”  It also requires the DOE to grant an application to add an additional content area or areas to a valid Indiana teaching license if certain conditions apply.

SB 567 Distressed Political SubdivisionsDesignates the Gary Community School Corporation and Muncie Community Schools as distressed political subdivisions subject to control by the distressed unit appeal board (DUAB).  Authorizes the treasurer of state to file a petition with the DUAB to have a school corporation designated as distressed unit if the treasurer of state has reason to believe that the school corporation will not be able to pay the school corporation's debt service obligations as those debt service obligations become due.

It specifies the duties and powers of an emergency manager regarding with regard to a distressed school corporation, including the employment of a chief financial officer and a chief academic officer by the emergency manager.

Requires notice by the emergency manager to the Mayor of Gary regarding the sale of assets or the transfer of property of the Gary Community School Corporation.

Gary legislators were very involved in crafting this bill.  Even so amendments are cause for great concern.

 

HELPFUL LINKS

 

·        AFT Indiana web site: http://in.aft.org/

·        General Assembly page that will take you to almost anything you could want regarding the legislature and legislators: https://iga.in.gov/

·        Find your own state legislator: https://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/

·        Alphabetical list of ALL legislators: https://iga.in.gov/documents/fc38c5ab

·        All committees (then choose the one you want): http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/committees/

·        Senate daily committee calendar: http://iga.in.gov/documents/85381d73

·        House daily committee calendar: http://iga.in.gov/documents/d818d017

·        If you click on “legislation,” you can get to bills (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2017/bills/), by number, by legislator, and by subject.  Also resolutions are there.

·        When the House and Senate are in session, you can watch at https://iga.in.gov/, too.

Chalkbeat has plentiful education coverage.

 

CALENDAR

·        April 21 – Legislature expected to adjourn; special sessions can be called

·        May 5-6  – AFT Indiana annual convention; Hammond, IN

 

Sally J Sloan

Executive Director

AFT Indiana, AFL-CIO

445 N. Pennsylvania, Suite 510

Indianapolis, IN 46204

317-299-5395. ext. 301

800-732-1476, ext. 301