This past session, I supported several pieces of legislation that benefit Hoosier students in areas of transportation and child abuse, and on July 1, those new laws went into effect.
A situation arose last year at a local Indianapolis school in which students were being charged to ride the bus to their public schools. This law will protect Hoosier families from being charged for school transportation and prevent this situation from happening again.
According to another new Indiana law, the Department of Education is now required to develop model education materials, response policies and reporting procedures for child abuse when seen in elementary schools in grades two through grade five. This is legislation that has been of the forefront for a long time, and my colleagues and I believe it will be a great benefit to children dealing with abusive circumstances at home.
No child should have to tolerate abuse, nor should their education be compromised because of it. Teachers and administrators will need to put a new focus on students suffering from abuse who need extra help and attention so that they do not fall behind in their academics. It is important for school corporations to have a plan in place to take action in child abuse situations.
Finally, this past legislative session we passed a bill that requires the Education Roundtable to create an Advisory Committee on Early Education. This committee will include members from around the state who will continue conversation about early education and provide professional and technical assistance to the Roundtable. Work on education will never be done – there will always be room for improvement, which is why we want to continue the discussion and take additional positive steps that will benefit Hoosier students.
For more information on these new laws, or for a complete list of new Indiana laws, please visit http://www.in.gov/legislative/reports/2012/2012GOV.PDF. As always, please contact me with any questions, concerns or input by calling 317-232-9647 or by emailing H83@in.gov.
Rep. Heuer represents parts of Allen, Noble and Whitley Counties.