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Indiana Lawmakers Approve Hotly Debated School Takeover Bill

Lawmakers will meet for the first special session since 2009. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

State lawmakers approved a hotly debated school financial management bill Monday.

The general assembly failed to pass the legislation during the regular session earlier this year and brought it back with a handful of other measures. House Bill 1315 aims to prevent more school financial problems, gives Ball State University control of Muncie schools and changes rules for those in Gary.

In addition to lawmakers from Gary and Muncie, K through 12 educators have largely pushed against the bill.

Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith urged a no vote on the bill at the statehouse before the House convened.

“And if passed it will have a profoundly negative impact on local control, teacher voice and protections for kids in many of the communities across the state,” Meredith says.

Democrats in both the House and Senate also pressed Republicans to vote no on the bill. Many say it usurps voters’ rights in the Gary community and puts teachers at risk.

But proponents say the most important part of the bill will track schools’ financial health and help protect more from falling into distress.

The bill passed the House 63-30, and 34-14 in the Senate.

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