Education Bill Pushes Fewer School Days, Cursive Mandate

The bill would also restore single-class basketball in Indiana.

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Photo: Jasont82 (Wikimedia)

Senator Mike Delph's bill takes on several controversial issues in education.

Carmel State Senator Mike Delph plans to announce Wednesday a bill which could shrink the number of days some students have to attend school in Indiana. Delph’s bill would reward academically high-performing schools by removing the 180-day school year requirement.

Instead, schools could fashion longer days so students have to attend fewer, but still get the same number of hours in the classroom. Delph says the weather plays a factor in the legislation.

“It‘s just very troublesome to me that we make our young people, our kids go to school in early August when it‘s so hot especially in the [Indianapolis Public Schools] area,” Delph says. “I don‘t think that‘s right, and it has bothered me for a long time. This is an issue that I feel very strongly about.”

But Indiana State Teachers Association President Nate Schnellenberger says the law may address the wrong group of students.

“Why are we gonna mess with the high performing schools? If they‘re doing a good job then maybe they want to keep doing what they have been doing,” he says. “Maybe the flexibility should go to the schools that have been struggling.”

Delph’s bill would also restore cursive writing to school curriculums and eliminate multi-class basketball by denying schools participation in inter-scholastic athletics if they divide their teams into classes. A spokesman for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett says the Indiana Department of Education is still reviewing the proposal.

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