The majority of bills Gov. Eric Holcomb signed after this past legislative session take effect Saturday. Here’s a quick recap of which education laws will soon be official.
Pre-K Pilot Expansion
The state’s pre-K pilot program got a small expansion from the General Assembly this year, adding $11 million to expand scholarships issued in the program. Total yearly funding now stands at $22 million. The legislation expanded the number of participating counties to 15, and allowed any county in the state to apply for that designation. The new law also gives $1 million to an online pre-K program.
After years of problems with administration and vendors for the state’s standardized test, the ISTEP, the General Assembly crafted legislation to create a new test. ILEARN, the replacement, is for students in grades 3-8, will be given on a computer and allow Indiana scores to be compared with scores nationally.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness
This law requires teachers to undergo suicide prevention and training every three years, if they teach third through 12th grades. This applies to all public, private and charter schools and takes effect beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.
Starting in 2021, the state superintendent will no longer be elected but appointed by the governor.
Voucher School Reporting
The state will now track how many students living in a public school district attend a private school using a voucher. This data point was not tracked in the state’s annual report on the voucher program.