Senate Backs Big Changes to Board of Education

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Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-16) says a bill heading to the House would help reduce the "unprecedented dysfunction" of the Indiana State Board of Education. Senate Bill 1 would allow the board to select its own chair, reduce its size and add spots appointed by the General Assembly. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-25) tried unsuccessfully to add several amendments, including language to keep the superintendent of public instruction as chair. February 17, 2015

Statement from Senate President Pro Tem Long

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) made the

following statement today regarding the passage of Senate Bill 1 in the Senate:

STATEHOUSE - "Senate Bill 1 is a comprehensive approach to improving the effectiveness of the State Board of Education for the benefit of all Hoosier school kids, and I was pleased to see it pass the Senate today. This bill reduces the size of the board to nine members and balances the appointments to the board between the governor and the legislature. It requires at least four of the board members to be public school educators and allows the members to choose their own chair, hire their own independent staff, and get assistance from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency when needed.

"Given some of the misinformation that has surrounded this bill, it's also important to note what the bill does not do. Senate Bill 1 does not remove the Superintendent of Public Instruction as a board member or even prevent the Superintendent from serving as chair. It does not remove the Superintendent as head of the Department of Education, and it does not make the Superintendent an appointed position in state government.

"The unprecedented dysfunction we've seen on the board in the past two years is unacceptable. This legislation is an effort to get the board back on track, which is in the best interest of everyone in our state."

Source: The Senate Republican Caucus