CALLS TO ACTION
Good news: Governor Holcomb signed Senate Bill 2 into law last week. It’s known as the “hold harmless” bill and recognizes that the first two years of ILEARN test results for the 2018-19 school year and the 2019-20 school year should NOT be used to grade schools and evaluate teachers. We thank Senator Raatz, the author of the bill, for his efforts and thank Gov. Holcomb for making this one of his top legislative priorities this session.
House Bill 1002 – the bill which would permanently decouple teacher evaluations from student test scores passed the House by a vote of 100 – 0! It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education & Career Development Committee today 1:30 in the Senate Chamber.
ACTION ITEM 1: Please contact the members of the Senate Education & Career Development Committee (before 1:30 today) to support the permanent decoupling. And then encourage all Senators to vote for it as well. (SEE BELOW FOR A SUGGESTED COMBINED MESSAGE.)
House Bill 1003 / Senate Bill 319 – HB 1003 is a massive K-12 education deregulation bill, now known as the “Education Freedom Bill,” and includes a provision to eliminate the requirement that teachers obtain 15 professional growth points (PGPs) through an internship with a business. You may recall this highly controversial requirement snuck into a bill near the end of the 2019 legislative session without public comment or testimony and threatened the license renewal of many Hoosier teachers. The language in this bill would change the “shall” to a “may,” giving teachers the option to obtain PGPs through an internship, but they would not be required to do so.
This is a massive bill also would do away with a wide range of requirements for public schools. It passed the House 98-0 and is up for amendments and a vote in the Senate Education & Career Development Committee today. We learned in the House Education Committee this morning that the language on the 15 PGP points will be taken out of HB 1003 and moved to SB 319.
ACTION ITEM 2: If you support the change to the internship language, please contact members of the Senate Education & Career Development Committee before 1:30 today.
HB 1066 — ICPE is also concerned about HB 1066, named Various Education Matters. It has quite a few good things in it, dropping some outdated and costly mandates for public schools.
However, HB 1066 also creates a NEW pathway (the eighth one) for students to receive a voucher to attend a private school. HB 1066 would allow all foster children and their household siblings to receive a voucher to attend private schools. HB 1066 also has language that would allow siblings in households where one or more child has attended a private school on a voucher but the family household income goes up to exceed the income levels for a voucher to still get access to a voucher. If all 11,000 + foster children in Indiana received a voucher, it would have a $66 million fiscal impact – and that does not include siblings. We are working with that bill’s author and the members of the Senate Education Committee to amend these provisions when it is heard in committee this week also.
ACTION ITEM 3: If you oppose additional voucher pathways because they take money away from public schools, please let members of the Senate Education & Career Development Committee know.
SUGGESTED COMBINED MESSAGE: In today’s meeting of the Senate Education & Career Development, I urge you to:
- vote for HB 1002 to permanently decouple teacher evaluations from student test scores
- support the part of HB 1003/SB 319 that changes the “shall” to “may” regarding teachers earning 15 professional growth points (PGPs) through a business internship
- oppose the additional voucher pathways in HB 1066 because vouchers take money away from public schools.
You can copy and paste these email addresses into your TO field:
Proposed new restrictions for referendums
The Indiana School Boards Association has shared that the Senate Elections Committee has accepted Amendment #13 that would insert House Bill 1223 into HB 1222, a miscellaneous elections law matters bill. Why does this matter? HB 1222, as amended, would eliminate the ability of school corporations to run a referendum in a primary election or a special election. A vast majority of school corporations will be left with only a general election option once every two years. The associations representing school boards, superintendents, school business officials, teachers and retired teachers all oppose this amendment.
PLEASE CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR AND ASK THEM TO:
- Support a second reading amendment to REMOVE the restrictions on local public questions (referendums) offered by school corporations and maintain current law;
- If a second reading amendment is not adopted, please oppose HB 1222
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY!