STATEHOUSE – State Representative Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) authored legislation that excuses students from school who participate in the State Fair, which passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Thursday with a unanimous vote.
“Our State Fair is among the strongest icons of unbridled Hoosier spirit, encompassing fields of craftsmanship, agriculture and engineering,” said Rep. Cherry. “The 4-H projects in particular encourage Hoosiers, from a young age, to embrace an ethos of ingenuity, productivity and excellence.”
House Bill (HB) 1056 provides an opportunity for students with projects in the State Fair to be excused from school if they, or a member of their family, are participating a project. The bill allows for a maximum of five excusable days in a given school year and that the individual schools decide how students make up their absence.
“There are 172,000 4-H participants across Indiana, many of whom show their projects at the State Fair,” said Rep. Cherry. “Some school districts are starting earlier which makes it difficult for 4-H students to participate in the State Fair.”
The Indiana State Fair is held annually, usually in the month of August. The State Fair has been operating since 1881 with last year’s fair almost reaching a million attendees. There are many exhibits that take place each year. Specifically, the Normandy Barn has 4,800 student visitors each year who participate in various educational programs that focused on farm operations. In addition, the new Glass Barn exposition teaches attendees about bio-technology.
“My hope is that this bill will enlighten people on the educational and recreational benefits the State Fair has to offer,” said Rep. Cherry.
HB 1056 will now be considered by the Senate for further discussion and debate.