STATEHOUSE — State Representative Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) sponsored legislation that excuses students from school who participate in the State Fair, which unanimously passed the Indiana House of Representatives on Monday.
“For more than 160 years, the State Fair has been a hallmark Hoosier tradition,” said Rep. Cherry. “The State Fair is an opportunity to showcase the very best artwork, agriculture, craftsmanship and engineering that our state – particularly our youth – has to offer.”
Senate Bill (SB) 114 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.
The language in SB 114 mirrors that of HB 1056, a bill authored by Rep. Cherry, which is now being considered by the Senate. In order for a student to be excused, he or she must be in good academic standing. Additionally, the number of excused absences a student may receive cannot exceed five days in a given school year.
“According to the Department of Education, 99 percent of Indiana schools start in August or prior,” said Rep. Cherry. “Consequently, there are very few school schedules that do not conflict with the State Fair, making this a highly relevant issue for us to address.”
The Indiana State Fair is held annually, usually in the month of August. The State Fair has been operating since 1852 with last year’s fair almost reaching a million attendees. There are many exhibits each year. Specifically, the Normandy Barn has 4,800 student annual visitors who participate in various educational programs 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.
SB 114 will now be returned to the Senate for concurrence.