Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction has released the Indiana Department of Education’s legislative priorities for 2019. Jennifer McCormick says the department is seeking an increase in school funding, additional STEM funding and an expansion of the On My Way Pre-K program. McCormick also announced Monday she will not seek re-election in 2020.
The department’s legislative priorities are broken down into three categories: Student Learning, School Improvement, and Operational Effectiveness. Among the top priorities, McCormick says it will advocate for increasing STEM funding to $20 million over the two-year budget period. Some of the other priorities include a 3 percent increase in school funding in each year of the budget period, creating funding opportunities for teacher mentoring programs, and aligning the ISTAR-KR, IREAD-3, and ILEARN exams to increase efficiency in the state’s school assessment system.
"The foundation of this work is to create a rich, innovative, and immersive educational environment that empowers our students to be successful, lifelong learners," McCormick said in a news release. "Our 2019 Legislative Priorities are the result of meeting with hundreds of Hoosiers over the last 21 months. The plethora of information shared reflects our desire to ensure children have the opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential."
You can view the full list of legislative priorities by clicking here.
Our partners at WIBC in Indianapolis report McCormick cited a division of power between her office and the State Board of Education as the main reason for her decision to not seek re-election. The 2020 election will be the last for the superintendent position, which will become a gubernatorial appointment beginning in 2025.
Governor Eric Holcomb released the following statement following McCormick’s announcement:
Dr. McCormick and I spoke about her decision not to seek the office of state superintendent again in 2020 and her legislative priorities for the next two years. I reminded her that we have more time left in this term than we’ve been here, and there’s still plenty to be accomplished.
Dr. McCormick has given me a lot to digest as I dig into her legislative priorities. I thanked her and told her today I appreciate and respect her lifetime devotion to children and education, and that we’ll take the steps necessary to ensure Indiana has the best team working together to provide the highest quality education for children.