updated: 4/28/2011 7:44:15 AM
Two more significant elements of Governor Mitch Daniels' sweeping education reforms are headed to his desk. Members of the Indiana House have approved a bill to expand charter schools in the state and another to establish what is expected to be the largest school voucher system in the country. Other aspects of the education reform plan involving collective bargaining and merit pay for teachers have also passed during this legislative session.
Our partners at Network Indiana/WIBC report House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) says the charter schools bill is an important step forward.
State Representative Matt Pierce (D-61) counters there is no evidence that charter schools improve the quality of education.
Daniels has signed the collective bargaining bill into law and is expected to do the same with the other proposals in the coming days.
April 27, 2011
Statement From Governor Mitch Daniels
“With these enactments and those of the last week, this General Assembly has placed the interests of Hoosier kids first, and placed Indiana first among the states in reforming and improving public education.
“Their political courage and their commitment to a great education for every single child deserve the thanks not just of parents but of every citizen; Indiana has a far brighter future because of them.”
Source: Office of the Indiana Governor
Statement From Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett
“Our children will thrive in a system that provides quality options to all students regardless of their ZIP code or how much money is in the family bank account. Indiana is now at the forefront of a national movement that demands all children receive the academic tools necessary for success.”
Source: Indiana Department of Education
News Release From House Republican Caucus
STATEHOUSE- Historic school choice legislation sponsored by House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) passed the Indiana House of Representatives giving parents and students more educational opportunities.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), State Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D-Indianapolis) and State Rep. Cindy Noe (R-Indianapolis) co-authored House Bill 1002, which will enable charter schools to expand and provide charters with the ability to innovate. The bill addresses many of the obstacles that have prohibited charter school expansion since charter schools were first authorized in Indiana in 2001.
House Bill 1002 passed through the Indiana General Assembly after lengthy public testimony and debate. The House passed the legislation by a concurrence vote of 61-37 after the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 29-20.
"Our overriding goal for this session has been to give more educational opportunities to every Hoosier family," said Speaker Bosma.
House Bill 1003 also passed on a concurrence vote in the Indiana House of Representatives by a vote of 56-43.
The main provisions of House Bill 1003 include providing families, who do not have the financial means, a scholarship to pay the cost of tuition and fees at a public or private school that charges tuition. In addition, the bill establishes a tax deduction for individual taxpayers who make expenditures for enrollment of a dependent child in a private school or to home school a dependent child. Finally, the bill increases the aggregate cap on credits from $2.5 M to $5 M beginning in FY 2012 for the education scholarship tax credit.
Source: House Republican Caucus