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Capitol Insider

January 20, 2022

It’s Uphill at the Statehouse

          Bills in the first house will move to the second after 3rd reading deadline.  For the House that deadline is January 31; for the Senate it is February 1. Meanwhile it’s still uphill to get amendments to bills that are moving.  Here are some of the ones that are most troublesome.  There are a few good bills most of which will remain unheard.

On the Uphill

House Bills: 1072, 1093, 1134, 1182, 1251 and others. 

Senate Bills: 213, 290, 297, 331, 356, 415 and more.


SCHOOL REFERENDUM LEVIES (BEHNING R) Provides that a school corporation must distribute a portion of revenue received from a school operating referendum tax levy or school safety referendum levy to each charter school in which students who reside within the attendance area of the school corporation attend. Remember a couple of years ago when a bill passed that allowed charters to get into our referendum money.  Here we go.  To have a referendum costs money.  On many occasions, AFT has made contributions on behalf of members.  Teachers work hard to get them passed and of course, the school corporation invests a good deal of money, too.  Now we have to share with charter schools who have NOTHING invested in the cost.


EDUCATION MATTERS (COOK A) Requires each “qualified school” to post educational activities and curricular materials on the school's Internet web site. Requires the school corporation or qualified school to add functionality that allows parents of students in the school corporation to opt in to or opt out of certain educational activities and curricular materials under certain conditions. Create a curricular materials advisory committee comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, and community members. Provides that a school corporation, or school corporation may not promote certain concepts as part of a course of instruction or in a curriculum or direct or otherwise compel a school employee or student to adhere to certain tenets relating to the individual's sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation. Provides that a school corporation or an employee school corporation may not require an employee to engage in training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of racial or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, or political affiliation. Provides that a student shall not be required to participate in a personal analysis, an evaluation, or a survey that reveals or attempts to affect the student's attitudes, habits, traits, opinions, beliefs, or feelings without parental consent. Provides, with certain exceptions, that before a school corporation or qualified school may provide or administer certain mental, social-emotional, or psychological services to a student, the school must provide the parent of the student with a written request for consent to provide or administer certain mental, social-emotional, or psychological services. Makes changes to the definition of "sexually explicit" for the purpose of trade regulation. Removes schools and certain public libraries from the list of entities eligible for a specified defense to criminal prosecutions alleging: (1) the dissemination of material harmful to minors; or (2) a performance harmful to minors. ​Please note that I have edited the summaries to try to bring the focus on public schools (us) and make the summaries more understandable.  In amendment Rep. Cook deleted lesson plans from the list of things the Curriculum Materials Committee had to approve. Still in the bill is the ‘Opt-in” “Opt-out” provision as well as all of the restricting language about what all teachers cannot express their opinions -- you know, like being anti regarding Nazism, Marxism and all the isms. Bill is on second reading.


GARY COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (BROWN T) Establishes procedures to appoint members to the governing body of the Gary Community School Corporation. Provides that the Gary Community School Corporation is not subject to collective bargainingToday’s GOOD NEWS. The bill eliminating Gary teachers ability to bargain or even to organize has been withdrawn by author Rep. Tim Brown.  President GlenEva Dunham and a bus load of members were on their way to Indianapolis when we got word that Brown had killed his own bill.  After a bit of celebration in the marble halls, they boarded the bus to head back home.  Elated, yet realizing there is still work to do.  Gary teachers and community want to restore local control by electing their own school board and hiring their own superintendent.


VARIOUS EDUCATION MATTERS (BEHNING R)  Provides that: (1) the governing body of a school corporation may issue an adjunct teacher permit to an individual who meets certain requirements; and (2) if a governing body of a school corporation issues an adjunct teacher permit to an individual, the school corporation may enter into an employment agreement with the individual as a part-time or full-time teacher of the school corporation. Provides that: (1) an adjunct teacher is not a school employee for purposes of collective bargaining; and (2) an employment agreement with an adjunct teacher is not subject to a collective bargaining agreement. Provides that it is not an unfair labor practice for a school corporation to enter into an employment agreement with an adjunct teacher.  There is a whole lot more in this bill than just "adjunct teacher."  Adjunct teachers will not be a part of the bargaining unit so they can get paid whatever the corporation wants to pay.  In fact, a school could hire all adjunct teachers and do in the union.  These people do not have to be licensed, etc. The bill is moving.



MULTIPLE EMPLOYER WELFARE ARRANGEMENTS (CARBAUGH M) Amends the law concerning multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWA) to require a MEWA to provide each participating employer access to claims data that is specific to that employer. Provides that when a governmental entity withdraws from a MEWA, the MEWA shall distribute to the withdrawing governmental entity a share of the MEWA's reserve that is proportional to the ratio between the withdrawing governmental entity's contribution to the reserve and the contributions of all participating employers. Provides that if a MEWA is established by governmental entities through an interlocal cooperation agreement, the cancellation or termination of the interlocal cooperation agreement or the MEWA or the termination or nonrenewal of a governmental entity's participation in the MEWA pursuant to a notice given by a governmental entity must be effective not more than three months after the governmental entity gives the notice.  One of our insurance trust members alerted me to the danger of this bill. It’s in committee to be heard Monday. The bill could be very bad for school insurance trusts. It seems if a district wanted to break its contract and withdraw from the trust, they’d get a share of the trust’s holdings.


VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION AND TUITION SUPPORT (RAATZ J) Provides that, in determining whether at least 50% of the instructional services that a student receives from a school corporation is virtual instruction for purposes of the 2021 fall count of average daily membership (ADM), the department of education (department) shall review the attendance of each student on each school day from the school corporation's first day of school until the school corporation's last day of school of the 2021 fall semester. Makes an exception regarding the school days the department reviews for students who transferred to or from a school corporation during the 2021 fall semester. Provides that, if a school corporation's tuition support amount is adjusted as a result of the application of this provision, the department shall, after December 31, 2021, settle any overpayment or underpayment of state tuition support to a school corporation resulting from the adjustment of tuition support on the schedule determined by the department.  Bill passed 2nd reading.


AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY COMPACT (KRUSE D) Adopts the audiology and speech-language pathology interstate compact. Establishes requirements regarding: (1) speech-language pathology assistants; and (2) the supervision of speech-language pathology support personnel. Requires the speech-language pathology and audiology board to adopt rules not later than June 30, 2023. Makes conforming amendments.  Bill was voted out of committee.


DYSLEXIA SCREENING AND INTERVENTION (FREEMAN A) Provides that the dyslexia screening and intervention provisions apply to: (1) qualified districts or qualified high schools; and (2) innovation network schools.  Passed out of committee.


VARIOUS EDUCATION MATTERS (RAATZ J) Requires the department of education to establish a career coaching pilot program to award grants to school corporations to establish career coaching programs for students of the school corporation. Provides that, if the total amount of state tuition support that a school corporation receives or will receive during a school year decreases under the student instructional day reduction of tuition support provision by an amount that is equal to or more than $250,000 from the amount the school corporation would otherwise be eligible to receive during the school year, the budget committee shall review the amount of and the reason for the decrease before the implementation of the decrease.  This creates a “career coaching pilot” that will be developed by the DOE to bring in 3rd party vendors. Sen. Raatz says vendors will be chosen by DOE.  He doesn’t know what training these 3rd party employees will have have. He claims it’s a supplement. (The bill says they can replace school counselors.) He claims it’s necessary because counselor to student ratio is about 450:1 and should be 250:1 The bill passed out of committee.


We have work to do.  We need to do this together.  Please call and email your legislators.  Please visit.  Please share this newsletter.  And please contact your staff rep if you have questions, thoughts, or ideas.



Helpful Links

AFT Indiana Calendar

  • January 17 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, legislature not in session
  • January 20 – Tentatively, AFT Indiana leadership bi-weekly zoom.
  • March 5 – Presidents’ Council & AFT IN Board Meeting; Holiday Inn, Lafayette
  • March 14 – Tentative last day of legislative session.
  • April 29-30 – Annual Convention - The Convention will be in Anderson (if in-person).  Presidents should receive a Convention Call near the end of January with all of the details.  April dates for convention since the next weekend, although the first weekend in May, is the 2nd Sunday hence Mother’s Day.