Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

The Top Four Education Priorities For Next Legislative Session

    Indiana Public Media

    Brandon Smith works out of the Statehouse covering politics and legislative affairs for Indiana Public Broadcasting.

    Here at StateImpact, we are experts in education.  For political news we reach out to our hardworking statehouse reporter Brandon Smith. Without further ado, we bring you a list of the top legislative priorities as compiled by our expert government correspondent.

    Mandatory teaching of cursive writing had been eliminated in public schools recently.  A bill introduced by Senator Jean Leising would put cursive education back into Hoosier public schools.
    Credit Creep

    Governor Mitch Daniels made “credit creep” a part of his legislative agenda.  His concern is over the number of credit hours it takes to earn a diploma at Indiana’s higher education institutions.  Daniels is proposing that those requirements be lowered unless the schools can make a convicing argument to keep them at current levels. Daniels cited 120 hours as a traditional measure for attaining a diploma; schools would have to come in at or under that level.Though he would not single out any one institution, Daniels did mention needing 130 hours for a sociology degree at one school and what he considered too high a figure for a music degree at another.

    Superintendent Salaries

    Representative Bob Behning offer a bill requiring a public hearing before a school corporation enters into a superintendent contract with someone.  The bill would also require full disclosure of the details of the contract, including the actual monetary value of the contract, benefits and any additional compensation.  The bill would be based on language approved by the Education study committee that met over the summer and fall.  Some members of that committee want stricter action taken, proposing the idea of lowering superintendent salaries across the state.  However, Behning has indicated he doesn’t want to go too far in a short session and that idea would be something that might get more traction down the line.

    Ed Reform Tweaks

    The legislature may address minor adjustments to the major educational reform efforts passed last session, including the school choice scholarships, charter school expansion and teacher evaulations.  Education leaders in the General Assembly have said that, with those measures already underway or starting out, the short session could be a good time to revist the laws and address any small changes that may need to be made.  No bills have yet been introduced specifically on this topic.


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