Bill to encourage teacher innovation passes House

Posted by: Kim Heffner  | Monday, February 23, 2015

STATEHOUSE —State Representative Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) has authored a bill that will allow Hoosier educators to develop and implement innovative approaches on how to improve educational performance and student outcomes. House Bill (HB) 1009, co-authored by State Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), passed out of the House with a vote of 95-2 and will now go to the Senate for further consideration and debate.

HB 1009 allows a group of teachers, a principal or a superintendent, or a combination thereof, to present a plan to the school board in order to designate their school, district or multiple school districts as a Freedom to Teach (F2T) school. Included in their plan, F2T schools would have the ability to create an optimal learning environment by focusing on improving student outcomes and increasing salaries for hard-working teachers.

“The goal of HB 1009 is to give Hoosier educators full flexibility to adopt new and innovative approaches to classroom instruction and an opportunity to create a career ladder with additional permanent increases,” said Rep. Behning. “By waiving burdensome rules or regulations, schools would be able to allocate more resources to the classroom and teachers will have the freedom to be as innovative as possible.”

This legislation would provide flexibility to F2T schools by reducing certain burdensome rules and regulations. Additionally, HB 1009 would also establish the Career Pathways Pilot Program to reward excellent teachers, who assume additional leadership roles, with pay raises.

“I am pleased to see this legislation receive bipartisan support in the House,” said Rep. Thompson. “Having worked in education for a long time, I understand how difficult it is to instruct students when you are dealing with such heavy regulations. HB 1009 provides an opportunity for teachers to focus less on regulations and more on providing students with the highest-quality education possible.”

To learn more about HB 1009, please visit


 State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents portions of Marion and Hendricks counties. He serves as Chairman of the Education Committee. He also serves on the Public Health Committee and the Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) represents portions of Hendricks and Boone counties. He serves as the Chairman of the K-12 Ways and Means Subcommittee. He also serves on the Elections and Apportionment Committee and the Education Committee.