Cook's bill providing students more course options moves to Senate

Posted by: Devan Strebing & Shelby Seay  | Tuesday, February 21, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 21, 2017) — The House of Representatives today voted in support of State Rep. Tony Cook’s (R-Cicero) bill that would give students more access to specialty classes and programs that their schools may not provide.

Cook said his proposal would help balance the educational playing field for students and their parents by allowing them to take courses at a different school or through an online program, while remaining enrolled in their current school.

Cook said there are situations, such as a lack of teacher access or resources, which may prevent schools from offering specific courses. The Indiana Department of Education would have the power to create a Course Access Program that would catalog specialty classes in subject areas and business or trade certification programs that students may enroll in.

“Hoosier students should be able to access high-quality courses that would align with their interests, skill levels or career aspirations, regardless of their geographical location,” Cook said. “It is important to give the Department of Education the ability to create this catalog and give students and their parents the power to customize their education.”

Schools, especially in small or rural districts, or urban areas, may lack the necessary resources to provide specialty classes in high teacher demand areas. While the IDOE would have the authority to regulate the courses and course providers, this bill would allow students to enroll in an approved class without requiring prior authorization from their school corporations.

House Bill 1007 now moves to the Senate for further consideration. To learn more about this bill, visit iga.in.gov.

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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.