[r52] Expanding curriculum material options for schools (10/5/2011)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Start Date: 10/5/2011
End Date: 10/5/2011
I recently attended the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) 38th Annual Meeting to discuss issues facing our state and nation. I joined state legislators, policy experts, and private-sector leaders from across the country for the three-day conference in New Orleans, Lousiana.

The conference is held every year to spur discussion between various state representatives and leaders about public policies. Those in attendance had the opportunity to hear from national leaders and renowned policy experts. I was asked to present House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1429, which I authored, at the conference. This piece of legislation eliminates the textbook adoption cycle for Indiana schools, which they had been forced to comply with for decades.

Under the previous law, schools could only replace a portion of their curriculum materials once every six years.
For example, Reading and Language Arts materials could only be updated or replaced during one designated year in a six year adoption cycle. This also included software that may have been obsolete five years ago.
HEA 1429 eliminated these antiquated restraints and expanded the definition of ‘textbooks’ to include certain hardware, software, and digital content. School corporations are now allowed to address their individual needs with materials and software in areas they have identified on an ‘as- needed’ basis rather than adhering to a one size fits all mandate from the state that restricts growth and reduces local control.

As more and more schools are going to electronic delivery of curriculum materials, this bill allows for software updates when needed rather than waiting once every six years. The legislation will now serve as model legislation for several states that are looking to reform their textbook adoption process.

The conference was a great forum to discuss what legislation is working well and to share ideas, discuss options and hear accomplishments of other states across the country.

Please do not hesitate to contact me concerning this legislation or other pieces of legislation as I am drafting potential legislation for next session. Please contact me by phone at 260-357-4937 or by email at H52@in.gov . Your input is extremely valuable to me.

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State Representative David Yarde serves District 52 which includes parts of LaGrange, Noble and DeKalb Counties.

Yarde Guest Column - HEA 1429.docx