Cook: New policies for students, schools

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky and Katherine Mayo  | Friday, March 16, 2018

At midnight on March 14, the General Assembly adjourned the 2018 legislative session. House Republicans supported new policies providing financial flexibility for schools, protecting student athletes and promoting STEM.

Legislators supported financial management legislation I authored to help schools better utilize funding. Schools divide their funds between three accounts: education, operation and rainy day. With this legislation, school corporations will have more flexibility to address their unique funding needs. At the end of the year, schools will have the option to move left over funds they did not use from the education and operation accounts to their rainy day fund. This way schools have flexibility to best serve their students and staff as needs arise. 

Coaches play a key role in keeping student athletes safe at practice and during games on hot summer days. To help protect student athletes, I co-authored legislation to provide education programs for coaches and teachers so they can recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and prevent it during athletic events.

Preparing students for careers and education after high school is a top priority for lawmakers. Currently, the state has thousands of open jobs, but students lack the skills to fill these positions. In Indiana, manufacturing and information technology are fields with numerous opportunities. Lawmakers passed a bill for schools to offer at least one computer science course by 2020. I not only sponsored this bill, but also presented it on the House Floor, aiding its passage. In addition to the courses, grants will to be provided to schools for developing programs and training educators. This will help students build skills and prepare for the next step, whether that be college or job-training.

All of these House and Senate measures acts are awaiting Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signature to become law.

Although session has come to a close, it is important to continue to keep in touch. I will remain connected over the interim by meeting with constituents in the district. You can also contact me with any questions or comments at 317-232-9678 or by email at h32@iga.in.gov. For more information about my work and legislation, visit iga.in.gov. Continue staying up to date with Statehouse news by signing up to receive email updates at www.in.gov/h32.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

A high-resolution photo of Cook can be downloaded by clicking here.