I am honored to have served as the State Representative for House District 91 since 1992. During that time I have represented Hoosiers from all walks of life. House District 91 includes portions of Marion and Hendricks counties.
I am always glad to hear the views of the citizens I represent. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions or concerns that you may have about state government.
House District 91
STATE REP. ROBERT BEHNING
Indiana House of Representatives: 1992-Present
House District 91: Portions of Marion and Hendricks counties
Statehouse Address: 200 West Washington Street, Room 401-8, Indianapolis, IN 46204
Occupation: Director of External Affair for the Educators College at Marian University
Education: B.S., Indiana University
Representative Behning has served in the Indiana State Legislature since 1992 and represents House District 91, including Marion and Hendricks counties. He was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and has been a proud Hoosier his entire life. In 1976, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University. He was a small business owner for 34 years and is an active member of his church and community.
Throughout his tenure as a representative, he has advocated for education reform in Indiana. As Chair of the House Committee on Education, he led efforts to pass the most comprehensive education reform package in the United States.
Behning believes all parents deserve the right to choose the school that best meets their child's needs.
In 2001, Behning was the co-author of House Bill 2102, a bill that would have created Indiana’s first charter schools.
In 2011, Behning authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1003, creating the School Choice Scholarship program that provides families who do not have the financial means with a scholarship (or voucher) to pay the cost of tuition at a private school. This law leveled the educational playing field in Indiana by giving students of lower incomes and underprivileged backgrounds the same access to great educational options. The law also established a tax deduction for individual taxpayers who donate money to scholarship granting organizations.
During the 2013 legislative session, Behning focused on bringing greater accountability to the classroom and giving more Hoosier students access to an educational environment that best fits their needs. His top three priority bills were HEA 1003, 1338 and Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 465. HEA 1003 made changes to Indiana's School Choice program, giving more students the opportunity to access a variety of opportunities. HEA 1003 also improved the current school grading system, creating one letter ranking focused primarily on how students improve. Additionally, the attendance of a full kindergarten year now qualifies as the two semesters in a public school needed before a student can access the School Choice program. HEA 1003 gave the siblings of Choice Scholarship recipients and children with disabilities access to the School Choice program. HEA 1338 increased accountability and standards in charter schools, enhancing transparency in students’ performances. That legislation addressed various issues regarding charter school administration, including making charter schools eligible to receive School Safety Grants. SEA 465 created the Indiana Works Council, which provided recommendations to the legislature on how to create innovative improvements to Indiana's job skill training. The governor designated distinct geographic regions throughout the state and established a Works Council for each region.
In 2016, Behning worked with leadership in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass two bills (HEA 1003 and SEA 200) to ensure teachers and schools would not be punished for the drop in 2015 ISTEP scores. Both bills were signed into law within the first month of session and immediately went into effect. In addition to decoupling 2015 ISTEP scores from teacher and school evaluations, Behning authored HEA 1395, which eliminates ISTEP on July 1, 2017 and created a 23-member panel to find the next generation of assessments for Indiana.
Keeping children safe while they are at school is a top priority for Behning. He worked on an amendment that later became part of HEA 1005 to strengthen teacher background checks.
Outside of his legislative role, Behning is also very involved in a number of community activities. He was on the board of directors at Westview Hospital. This position helped him become a key advocate for Marian University’s Osteopathic School of Medicine, Indiana’s second medical school, which opened in the fall of 2013.
Behning was the School Board Chairman of Calvary Lutheran High School of Indianapolis from 1988-1992. He was the board president at the Lutheran High School in Indianapolis from 2000-2004. He was the Executive Director at Calvary Lutheran Church, LCMS, in Southport, Indiana from 2008-2014.
Behning was an active member of the Guilford Township Civic Association. Additionally, he is a member of the Decatur Township Civic Council. Behning is a NCSL Early Learning Fellow and a member of the International Study Committee. He was recently named the co-chair of the NCSL Committee on Education.
Through years of experience, knowledge and passion, Behning fundamentally strengthened Indiana’s K-12 education system and put tools in place that will equip Indiana students with a high quality education to prepare them for success.
House District 91 includes the southwest corner of Marion County and the southeast corner of Hendricks County.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 20, 2017) — Legislation authored by State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) that would replace ISTEP passed out of the House of Representatives Monday with a vote of 67-31.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 16, 2017) —State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation that would establish a competency-based education pilot program advanced out of the House of Representatives today with a vote of 68-21.
During my entire tenure as a state representative, education has always been a top priority for House Republicans. Through our efforts, we have made great strides, especially with our college- and career-ready standards. Unfortunately, while Indiana is experiencing success in several areas, our country as a whole falls behind top-performing countries in education.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 9, 2017) —Legislation that would replace ISTEP advanced out of the House Committee on Education today, said bill author State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis).
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 7, 2017) —State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation to expand the On My Way Pre-K pilot program passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives today with a vote of 61-34.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 2, 2017) — The House Committee on Education is set to hear State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation that would replace Indiana’s ISTEP test with a new assessment system on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
Research shows that children living in low-income households come to school up to 18 months developmentally behind their peers. A high-quality early education program is one of the most effective ways to close the achievement gap that low-income, at-risk children often experience when they enter kindergarten.
Last year, the General Assembly created a 23-member panel, comprised mostly of educators, to take a serious look at Indiana’s current statewide assessment: ISTEP. The panel met multiple times throughout the summer and fall to study and discuss potential replacement tests.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 18, 2017)—State Reps. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and Dave Frizzell (R-Indianapolis) will host a town hall meeting on Saturday to share information about the 2017 legislative session.
After the start of the New Year, the General Assembly began meeting to consider legislation to keep Indiana moving forward. Recently, I joined House Republicans to announce our legislative priorities.
STATEHOUSE (Jan. 10, 2017) — State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) filed legislation today that would expand the current pre-K pilot program from five counties to 10.
STATEHOUSE (Dec. 8, 2016) — The deadline to apply for the Next Generation Teacher Scholarship, paying $7,500 per year for students pursuing a career in education, is Dec. 31, according to State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).
STATEHOUSE (Nov. 22, 2016) — State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) joined fellow legislators at the Statehouse today for the Indiana General Assembly’s Organization Day.
STATEHOUSE (Oct. 17, 2016) — State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) was recently selected to serve as co-chair of the Education Standing Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures.
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 25, 2016) — Hendricks County and 17 local communities received more than $7.9 million in state matching grants this week to improve roads and bridges, according to State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis).
For as long as I have been a state representative, education has been a top priority for House Republicans. Through our efforts, we have made great strides. As the chair of the House Committee on Education, I am constantly working to find new and innovative ways to strengthen Indiana’s education system.
STATEHOUSE (Aug. 9, 2016) — A closer look at how top-performing countries prepare students to compete in today’s global economy provides valuable insight for U.S. schools, according to a new study by the National Council of State Legislatures.
In his few years as superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Dr. Lewis Ferebee, together with his team, has made a significant difference in the performance and perception of one of our state’s largest school districts.
STATEHOUSE (May 10, 2016)—State Reps. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and Bill Fine (R-Munster) participated in the “Take a Legislator to School” pilot program at Klondike Elementary School in West Lafayette.
Last week, the Indiana General Assembly adjourned Sine Die, meaning we have completed our business for the 2016 legislative session. Supporting educators and schools was one of the top priorities for House Republicans. Several issues were addressed, including a fix for last year’s ISTEP scores, the test’s future and improving teacher recruitment and retention. As the chair of the House Committee on Education, it was an extremely busy session for me as I worked to address the concerns that students, parents and educators have expressed.
Planning for college is often a daunting task. Thankfully, Hoosiers have access to several tools to help them prepare for future education plans. Learn More Indiana is a program provided by the Commission of Higher Education that offers a variety of helpful tips and free resources for K-12 students, current college students and returning students, including the Indiana College Costs Estimator. The Commission for Higher Education also sponsors contests and grant opportunities during each of its three annual Learn More Indiana campaigns throughout the year. I encourage all students and parents to look into these resources when applying or returning to school, by visiting www.learnmoreindiana.org.
STATEHOUSE (March 3, 2016) —The House of Representatives unanimously supported legislation sponsored by State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) requiring coaches to complete a safety education course to better prevent and identify head injuries in student athletes.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 25, 2016) – State Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) and Rep. Robert Behning (R-Indianapolis) offered an amendment to Senate Bill 334 to further protect Indiana’s children. The House Committee on Education unanimously adopted Merritt and Behning’s amendment and the bill passed committee 8-4.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 23, 2016) —The Indiana Senate passed legislation by a vote of 38-10 that would repeal ISTEP in 2017.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2016) — The House of Representatives voted 90-4 in support of legislation sponsored by State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) that would create the Out of School Time Learning Advisory Board.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 16, 2016) — State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) bill that would help attract educators to the teaching profession is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor.
We are now at the halfway point of session, and bills have switched chambers. The House of Representatives sent 116 bills to the Senate, and the Senate sent over 151 bills. At this point in time, four of my bills are being considered by the Senate, and one has already been signed into law. In addition to the legislation I authored, the House supported legislation that would benefit Hoosier veterans and service men and women.
STATEHOUSE (Feb. 9, 2016) — State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) recently welcomed the following student page to the Statehouse:
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 3, 2016) —The Indiana House of Representatives today voted 57-42 in support of State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) bill that would help attract educators to the teaching profession.
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 2, 2016) —The Indiana House of Representatives today passed legislation by a vote of 86-11 that will address the future of ISTEP testing.
With session in full swing, House Republicans are fully committed to leading Indiana forward. We are focused on the needs of Hoosiers, particularly education, transportation infrastructure and curbing illegal drugs. All three of these issues are top priorities this session. They are integral to House Republicans’ ongoing work to ensure that Indiana is the best place to work, live and raise a family.
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan 28, 2016) —The House Committee on Ways and Means today passed legislation by a vote of 13-9, that will help attract educators to the teaching profession.
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan 21, 2016) — Gov. Mike Pence signed into law two bills today ensuring teachers and schools will not be punished for the expected drop in 2015 ISTEP scores.
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2016) – State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) paired his sneakers with his suit today at the Statehouse to help raise cancer awareness.
With session in full swing, education has become my main priority. I am personally committed to constantly improving our system for students, teachers and families. I cannot stress enough the amount of time that House Republicans have dedicated toward enacting policies that improve teacher recruitment and retention. This remains a very important, ongoing task. By the end of session, I hope to have legislation passed that attracts the best and brightest to the education profession and encourages them to remain in Hoosier classrooms.
INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 12, 2016) – State Rep. Bob Behning's (R-Indianapolis) bill decoupling teacher bonuses from the 2015 ISTEP scores passed out of the House of Representatives today by a vote of 95-1.
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 28, 2015) – State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) announced today that Hoosier students scored well above the national average on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).
STATEHOUSE — This week, legislation sponsored by State Representative Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), which created a Dual Language Immersion Pilot Program, was ceremonially signed into law by the governor. Since this law went into effect, five schools have received grants to begin their own programs.
The Indiana Department of Child Services is partnering with WorkOne Indy to find qualified candidates to fill Family Case Manager positions. Requirements for the job include a bachelor's degree and at least 15 semester hours (21 quarter hours) in child development, criminology, criminal justice, education, health care, home economics, psychology, guidance and counseling, social work or sociology.
STATEHOUSE — Legislation authored by State Representative Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) to allow Hoosier educators to develop and implement innovative approaches to meet the educational needs of their students was ceremonially signed into law by the governor on May 28.
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