Key committee advances Cook’s bill improving course offerings for Hoosier students

Posted by: Devan Strebing  | Wednesday, February 15, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 15, 2017) — The House Committee on Education recently passed State Rep. Tony Cook’s (R-Cicero) bill that would provide students with access to specialty classes and programs if they are not provided by the school they attend.

Cook said this proposal would help equalize the educational playing field by allowing the Department of Education to develop a Course Access Program. The program would include a catalog of specialty classes in subject areas and certificate business/trade courses that students could enroll in, either through a traditional classroom setting or an online program, while still remaining at their current school.

“There are situations where a student’s school may not offer a program that aligns with a student’s interests, skill level or career aspirations,” Cook said. “Hoosier students should have access to courses that would align with their dreams and ambitions. They shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to benefit from high-quality and specialty classes because of their geographical location or lack of teacher access.”

Schools, especially in small or rural districts, or urban poverty, may not always be able to provide specific programs due to a lack of resources, such as high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses. Cook said students would be allowed to enroll in an approved class without needing authorization from their school corporation, but the Department of Education would have the authority to regulate courses and course providers.

House Bill 1007 now moves to the full House 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.