STATEHOUSE (July 18, 2018) — With students and educators preparing to head back to the classroom in the coming weeks, State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) said many new laws impact local school districts.
“The needs of schools evolve and change every year,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “As we work with Hoosier students, parents and educators, we find additional ways to make the learning process more effective and beneficial for kids. This year, we focused on making sure every school has access to safety resources and flexibility to drive student success.”
Behning said many new education laws ensure students, educators and schools have the tools and resources needed to be successful:
- Strengthening School Safety – A new law Behning co-authored builds on the state’s already strong school safety policies by appropriating an additional $5 million to the Indiana Secured School Safety Grant Fund used to train safety specialists, hire school resource officers and improve building security. This funding is in addition to the nearly $45 million in state grants awarded to local districts for safety upgrades. (House Enrolled Act 1230 – Special Session)
- Increasing Computer Skills – A new law ensures all K-12 public schools offer computer science classes. These skills are in high demand and critical to filling current and future job openings. The Next Level Computer Science Grant Program will help local schools train teachers to instruct the courses. (Senate Enrolled Act 172)
- Streamlining Diploma Options – A new law Behning authored creates a single diploma option for high school students. The new Indiana diploma puts students in control of their education, giving them flexibility to pursue an academic path that best fits their career plans. There will be an additional diploma option for students with severe disabilities. (HEA 1426)
- Empowering Local Schools – A new law Behning authored allows up to eight school corporations to form a coalition to explore and develop education plans that drive student success. These schools can request flexibilities from state laws and rules that may hinder innovation. With licensure flexibilities, highly qualified industry professionals will be able to work in the classroom in hard-to-fill positions. The State Board of Education recently approved the creation of the Coalition of Continuous Improvement School Districts, which includes MSD of Decatur Township. (HEA 1398)
- Prioritizing STEM Education – A new law Behning authored creates an optional elementary school teacher content area license, aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in elementary school students. Educators with a passion to teach STEM subjects will be able to actively engage young students and prepare them for high-level courses in their academic careers. (HEA 1399)
- Helping Students with Dyslexia – A new law Behning co-authored ensures students with dyslexia, a language-based learning disability, are identified early and receive the necessary resources to succeed. Dyslexia can affect an individual’s ability to read, write, spell and pronounce words. Additionally, an educator with specialized training will be available at each school to help address unique cases. (SEA 217)
Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about these and other state laws that recently went into effect.
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
A high-resolution photo of Behning can be downloaded by clicking here.