Muncie, Gary School Management Bill Awaits Conference Committee
A bill that involves granting Ball State University the authority to manage Muncie Community Schools and further trims the responsibilities of the elected Gary Community School Corp. board has been approved by the Indiana Senate. House Bill 1315 now heads to conference committee, where members of both chambers will hammer out a final version that would need to receive another vote in each the House and Senate by March 14.
In a letter to staff and the community, Ball State President Geoff Mearns said "I am very gratified that the members of the Senate recognize that our University – our faculty, staff, and students – have the capacity to partner with the teachers and staff of MCS in a very meaningful and constructive way." If a version of the bill emerges from the conference committee process and is approved by the House and Senate, it must go before the BSU board of trustees for approval, which Mearns expects to take place March 30. Then, it could be sent to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk.
Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report additional measures in the bill involve oversight of the public school district in Gary, including shifting trustees to an advisory board that would consult with the state-appointed emergency manager. Under the Senate-approved version, the board — or advisory committee as the House-passed version of the bill calls it — would meet four times per year publicly and have its authority diminished even more. You can read more about how the proposed legislation played out in the Senate from The Times of Northwest Indiana.