Capitol Insider

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Capitol Insider

January 15, 2021

Hope. Encouragement. We all need it. Especially now and for lots of reasons. What better person to exemplify that hope and encouragement than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? 

 

Indianapolis Power and Light is housed on Monument Circle here in Indy.  In addition to this picture in lights on the side of its building, are the words “I Have a Dream,” including audio readings from MLK. 

 

Share the hope and encouragement.  We are all facing battles and need to hear and even share his “Dream.” 

 

Legislative Action 

              Hearings are rather light even for a long session.  That should not deceive us or lure us into complacency.  More than 100 bills have been filed and posted so far affecting teachers and schools.  There are more to come.  In fact, there are so many, I would encourage you to visit AFT Indiana’s web page to see all of the bills on our list…to date. 

              The 105-page Budget Bill (HB1001) came out yesterday.  Remember, this is a long session that may or may conclude by April 30.  This bill will change regularly and finally behind closed doors to a final version released at the 11th hour.  Remember, too, that HB 1001 is not the Governor’s budget which provides a very limited increase for schools, not of which is designed specifically to teachers.   

              Now for a look at what action was taken this week: 

 

SB19 

REQUIRED INFORMATION ON STUDENT ID CARDS (FORD J) Requires a public school that issues a student identification card to a student in grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 to include on the student identification card a local, state, or national: (1) suicide prevention hotline telephone number; and (2) human trafficking hotline telephone number; that provides support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Provides that the information may be printed on the student identification card or printed on a sticker that is affixed to the student identification card. Bill is on 2nd reading in Senate.  Amendments will be considered. 

HB1040 

SUDDEN CARDIAC ARREST OF STUDENTS (PRESSEL J) Provides that sudden cardiac arrest information sheets currently required to be provided by each school corporation, charter school, or state accredited nonpublic school to a parent of an applicable student. This bill was heard in House Ed.  Vote next week.     

HB1073 

NONACCREDITED NONPUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS (WESCO T) Provides that a high school diploma (diploma) or credential issued by a nonaccredited nonpublic secondary school that employs less than one employee is legally sufficient to demonstrate that the recipient of the diploma or credential has met the requirements to complete high school. Provides that a state or local agency or institution of higher education in Indiana may not reject or otherwise treat a person differently based solely on the source of a diploma or credential. Provides that a person who administers a nonaccredited nonpublic secondary school has the authority to execute any document required by law, rule, regulation, or policy to provide certain evidence regarding a child's education.  This bill applies to homeschools.  It was heard and will be voted on in Committee on Wednesday. 

 

HB1186 

EARLY GRADUATION AND ADM COUNTS (CHERRY R) Requires that the February count of a school corporation's average daily membership (ADM) must be increased by the number of students who, during the students' expected graduation year: (1) were enrolled in the school corporation on the September ADM count day; (2) completed graduation requirements before the February ADM count day; and (3) were not enrolled in the school corporation on the February ADM count day.  Bill was heard this week.  Good bill that helps maintain tuitions support consistency throughout a school year. 

 

 

SB2 

FUNDING FOR VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (RAATZ J) Establishes a definition of "virtual instruction" for purposes of determining a school corporation's basic tuition support using the 2021 spring count of average daily membership (ADM).  Bill passed out of Senate Ed Committee and was re-assigned to Senate Appropriations.  

SB123 

AUDIOLOGY AND SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY COMPACT (KRUSE D) Enacts the audiology and speech-language pathology interstate compact. Makes conforming amendments.  Heard in committee; vote next week. 

 

SB203 

HIGH ABILITY STUDENTS AND EDUCATION STUDIES (ROGERS L) Removes the topic of high ability students (including high ability curriculum) from the list of statutes that the legislative council is urged to assign to a study committee during the 2021 legislative interim. Removes an expired proposed study topic. Actual content of bill – changes to current law – are ok in that it protects existing high ability curriculum that could be removed.  Problem is existing law that puts so much else on the potential chopping block and due to COVID at a breakneck pace with ‘mandatory’ hearings this summer for a doubled-up list of issues.  Working with Sen. Qaddoura to add some language. 

 

What’s Coming 

              Remember HOPE and ENCOURAGE?  AFT Indiana leadership is placing their hope in AFT Indiana members to call and write their legislators to ENCOURAGE them to support public education – students, teachers, administrators, funding, actions – as bills move forward. 

              Today, let me put into categories some bills that have been filed. If you are interested in reading them, please go to Indiana General Assembly page, see the tab to the right, click on bills and enter the number you’d like to see. 

 

Pay/Funding 

Collective Bargaining 

“Choice” 

1001 Budget (?) 

1368 Sch employee contracts (-) 

1005 Sch choice matters (-) 

1003 Tuition support (+) 

1489 Sch employee contracts (-) 

1047 Educ matters (-) 

1186 Early Grad & ADM (+) 

1546 Paycheck deductions (-) 

1093 Choice scholarship (-) 

1343 Min. Teacher Salary (+) 

56 Collective Bargaining (+ & -) 

 

1403 Sch Corp Referenda (+) 

57 Prep Time (+) 

 

1470 Teacher Salaries (+) 

85 Collective Bargaining (+) 

 

1507 Min. Teacher Salary (+) 

 

 

2 Fund..virtual..public sch (+) 

 

 

371 Tchr compensation (+) 

 

 

 

(?) Good or bad yet to be determined                                                            4 digits = House Bill 

(+) Good                                                                                                                3 or fewer digits = Senate Bill     

(-) Bad 

 

I’m sure there are some that I’ve missed for now.  Look at the author’s name to “guess” which bills will move forward and which will not.  I won’t share my thoughts right now. 

 

Seriously, as you read bills if you have any thoughts or information that will be helpful to us as we prepare to get information or testimony to legislators, I’d really like to hear from you.  Please, I need constructive, useful insights.  Post others on Facebook. 

 

If you have specific questions about a bill or other proposal, please email me at sjsloan@aftindiana.org. I’ll get back with you asap. 

 

Helpful Links 

 

 

 

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