Vic’s Statehouse Notes #363
House Bill 1252 is a flawed plan for remediation and enrichment for students who performed poorly on ILEARN.
How is it flawed? Here are ten flaws that need to be fixed on the House floor on second reading.
- House Bill 1252 would allow millions of dollars – the bill does not clarify how many millions – to be spent by parents who could apply online for an account worth up to $1000. Schools would be cut out of this remediation fund. The source of the money is federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief ) funds.
- HB 1252 ignores funding school remediation through the already existing ILEARN Remediation Grant and creates a whole new bureaucracy within the IDOE to administer these funds.
- Teachers who can still be evaluated based on ILEARN results have been completely shut out of this process even though they are in the best position to determine what forms of remediation each student needs.
- Students whose parents don’t apply would not get ILEARN remediation. If the schools would receive the money, they could plan programs for all students in need.
- There are no qualifications for private providers written into the bill. The bill leaves the entire matter of qualifications to the IDOE.
- Parents must agree in general to use the money for the student’s study of reading or math, but there is no requirement that the money actually be used directly for reading if the student needs reading remediation or for math if the student needs math remediation.
- Parent background checks for neglect, abuse or fraud are not required for parents to receive money in this program.
- There is no accountability for the outcome of the private services.
- There is no ban on nepotism in selecting private tutors. Parents should be prohibited from hiring relatives to provide tutoring.
- It requires the school to provide a matching grant of $250 from sources that are not specified in the bill or else the parent’s grant is only $500.
At this point, HB1252 appears poised to do two things:
- Leave many students out of remediation because their parents do not take action.
- Use federal money to set a precedent for giving tax money directly to parents rather than to the schools for programs, similar to the Indiana privatization law to give state money directly to parents for special education home schools through Education Scholarship Accounts.
HB 1252 has passed Committee and awaits amendments on second reading.
It is important to send messages right away to any and all House members that they should fix the glaring flaws in HB 1252 during second reading amendments.
Email addresses for House members are available on the Legislative Action Center on the Indiana Coalition for Public Education website: https://www.indianacoalitionforpubliced.org/email-legislators/
Thank you for your active support of public education in Indiana!
Vic Smith email@example.com
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