Muncie, Gary School Oversight Bill Faces Final Shot

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(Image courtesy of the State of Indiana.) (Image courtesy of the State of Indiana.)

A bill that involves big oversight changes to the school systems in Gary and Muncie, including turning over control of Muncie Community Schools to Ball State University, will face its final days in the Indiana Senate next week. The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved House Bill 1315, which now has until the end of Tuesday to receive a vote in the full Senate.

The committee voted 9-4 along party lines to approve the amended bill. Three of the four amendments that were proposed Thursday failed. Indiana Public Radio reports the one that received approval involves provisions including: two of the five Ball State-appointed board members must live in the district, the two members appointed by the Muncie mayor and the City Council would become elected seats after four years, and the elected Muncie school board would become an advisory board and then be disbanded once the members' current terms are up.

Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report changes approved Thursday to the Gary Community School Corp. portion of the bill include making trustees advisors to the state-appointed emergency manager and allow them to petition the state's Distressed Unit Appeals Board if revenues exceed expenses. The publication reports the amendments would also nix requirements for the emergency manager to consult with the board on issues such as the budget and financial planning. Monthly public forums held by the emergency manager would also be added.

You can connect to the full bill by clicking here. Tuesday is the last day for third reading of House bills in the Senate.

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