Hendricks County legislators back bill helping students impacted by pandemic

Posted by: Courtney E Heiden  | Friday, February 26, 2021

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 26, 2021) – Hendricks County lawmakers are supporting legislation that would establish the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program to help local students experiencing learning loss due to the pandemic.

According to State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), chair of the House Education Committee, the proposal would create a $150 million grant program to provide individuals or organizations resources to help students who have fallen behind in class, who scored below academic standards or who are at risk of falling behind.

"Students experienced a lot of disruptions over the last year and some may be struggling with their schoolwork," Behning said. "With this program, young Hoosiers would receive additional help so that they can catch up and be successful in the classroom."  

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), chair of the House Ways and Means K-12 Subcommittee, said program criteria for grants would be determined by the Indiana Department of Education, along with the State Board of Education. He said applying organizations, which could include local schools, colleges or universities, community or philanthropic organizations, and prospective, current and retired educators, would be required to submit a plan detailing the programs that would supplement a student's regular coursework. The DOE would be responsible for overseeing the grant program.

"Many organizations throughout the state are ready to help students succeed, but need support reaching those most in need," Thompson said. "This grant program could help us reach our at-risk students and then connect them with valuable tools so they can get caught up."

According to a recent study completed by Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes, the average Indiana student lost 129 days of reading knowledge and 209 days of math knowledge as a result of COVID-19 disruptions. 

"We are committed to helping our students who are struggling, and understand that it will take additional resources," said State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon). "Our schools, teachers and families are working really hard to make sure students are where they need to be academically, but some will require more support so they can get back on track."

After receiving overwhelming and bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, House Bill 1008 can now be considered by the Indiana Senate. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.

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State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) represents House District 40,
which includes a portion of Hendricks County.
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here to download a high-resolution photo. 

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) represents House District 28,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Boone counties.
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here to download a high-resolution photo.