Legislative meetings aside, there’s a lot going on in education right now – some proposed bills even overlap one another. So, to keep things neat and organized we’re compiling an up-to-date, easy-to-read list of the school-related bills we’re following at StateImpact.
Check out where those measures are in the process – followed by links to the bills themselves and some of our continuing coverage:
|SB 4||Sen. Mark Stoops||Allows state to assign schools the greater of its 2013-14 or 2014-15 A-F grade for the 2014-15 school year. Mandates ISTEP+ results be used in teacher evaluations for the 2015-16 school year.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 9||Sen. Jeff Raatz||Removes requirement that charter schools report certain data to the IDOE.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 10||Sen. Jeff Raatz||Tweaks factors used to determine increases or increments in teacher salary ranges.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 34||Sen. Timothy Lanane||Allows school districts control over its property tax reductions & credits.||First reading||Committee on Appropriations hearing|
|SB 73||Sen. Jean Leising||Requires school districts to include reading & cursive writing in its curriculum.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 93||Sen. Dennis Kruse||Various education matters, including requiring ISTEP+ results are delivered in a timely manner and amending disability categories.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 147||Sen. Phillip Boots||Requires establishment of minimum standards and approval of best practices for a school emergency response system||First reading||Committee on Homeland Security & Transporation hearing|
|SB 175||Sen. Jean Leising||Requires state to establish appropriate academic standards and curricula concerning health education.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
|SB 200||Sen. Dennis Kruse||Requires state to assign 2013-14 A-F grade for 2014-2015 school year, if 2014-15 grade is lower.||First reading||Committee on Education & Career Development hearing|
Source: Indiana General Assembly
Keep up with our tracker throughout the legislative session here.
Curious what all that means? Here’s a quick reminder of how a bill becomes a law on the state level (keep in mind, at any step in this system doesn’t happen, the bill “dies”):
(A) PRE-INTRODUCTION: An idea is developed, and a senator or representative decides to sponsor it. He or she drafts a bill, with research and technical help from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA).
(B) INTRODUCTION: The representative enters the bill into his or her respective chamber. The only exception here is that bills raising revenue can only originate in the House.
(C) CONSIDERATION: This is where the sausage is made. Chamber leadership calls the bill for discussion.
- First reading: The bill is read aloud to the entire chamber and assigned to an appropriate chamber committee for review.
- Committee: The committee chairperson puts the bill up for public hearing, where the full committee hears testimony, discusses merits and pitfalls of the measure, and votes to advance the bill.
- Second reading: The bill is returns to the chamber it came from for discussion before the entire body. Any legislator in that body can suggest amendments to the bill, which have to be approved by a majority vote. After all approved amendments have been added, the chamber votes to advance the bill as a whole. The chamber may also send the bill back to committee, if they need more information.
- Third reading: The same chamber now schedules the same bill for a third discussion. This is the same process as the second reading, except that any proposed amendments must be approved by a two-thirds majority. The chamber votes to advance the bill as a whole.
- Opposite chamber: The bill moves to the other legislative chamber, who then repeats the same process of consideration (first reading > committee > second reading > third reading).
- Finalizing: The bill returns to the chamber of origin, which must approve or deny any amendments their counterparts added. If approved, the bill moves on. If denied, the bill goes to a conference committee – a group made up of two members from each chamber, one from each political party. Once they reach agreement, the bill returns to both chambers for approval.
(D) GOVERNOR’S ACTION: The bill is presented to the governor, who has seven days to act. He or she has three options: He can sign the bill, in which case it becomes law; He can do nothing, in which case the bill becomes law without his signature; or, he can veto the bill, in which case it goes back to the House and Senate, who have the opportunity to over-ride the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. If both chambers achieve that majority, the bill becomes law.
Keep in mind, even if a bill dies, the language of that bill can be put into another bill (although that’s not guaranteed). That’s why issues aren’t technically considered dead until the session officially ends in April.