STATEHOUSE - Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis), announced the end of session, or Sine Die on Friday evening, closing out a year of priorities achieved. The House Republican agenda, which was released in October, centered on making Indiana a stronger state for future generations, by focusing on fiscal integrity, job growth, and enhanced education opportunities for every Hoosier.
The House Republicans’ “Own Your American Dream” plan focuses on three key concepts: financial security, matching Hoosier workers with high paying jobs, and making education investments.
“This year’s budget will put education funding at historic levels; a vital investment in the future of children’s lives and our state,” said State Representative Phyllis Pond (R-New Haven). “We’ve been unequivocally generous in crafting our budget to cater to invest in Hoosier children. With the proper training and skillset, we hope to bridge the skills gap and build a stable economic environment as Indiana continues to grow.”
Bridging the Skills Gap
“We have focused over the past decade on creating the best environment in the midwest through policies that encourage and incentivize companies from all over the world to relocate and grow in Indiana,” said Speaker Bosma. “HEA 1002, the Indiana Career Council (ICC), develops a workforce that will better prepare Hoosiers for the needs of a globally dynamic marketplace,” said Bosma.
According to the Indiana Vision 2025 report published by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, more than 930,000 Hoosiers lack even the most basic skills to thrive in today’s economy.
Designed to improve coordination, communication and vision for Indiana’s workforce training and career preparation systems, the ICC is a panel that will bring the principal stakeholders in the state’s workforce development efforts together to create a stronger plan to move Indiana forward. Members of the ICC will be charged with aligning the education skills and training provided by Indiana’s educational, job skills and career training systems with the existing and projected needs of the state’s job market. The legislation also puts into law a longitudinal data system to track the effectiveness of the state’s educational and workforce programs.
Leaders in Classrooms; Leaders in Life
“We’ve tailored our education system to fit the needs of a fresh generation,” said Rep. Pond. “Our agenda expanded accessibility to educational resources and offering Hoosier families a choice in where their children attend school. No child should be burdened with a system that doesn’t allow them to reach their full potential and thrive in an enriching, dynamic curriculum. We’ve moved to make Indiana competitive on a global scale in the field of education and arm our students with the proper tools to be successful upon graduation.”
Currently, there are nearly two and a half STEM jobs for every one unemployed person in Indiana. Despite the economic downturn, these jobs have remained in demand, and will only increase as technology marches on. HEA 1001 creates a STEM Teacher Recruitment Fund and new stipend programs for teachers that are in high demand.
In Indiana, 61 percent of children (ages 3-4) are not enrolled in a preschool program. Only six states have a higher percentage of children not attending a preschool. The budget creates a Pre-K Matching Program. School choice was also expanded for students with disabilities, special needs, and siblings. There is no longer a requirement for students in failing school districts.
“We have worked together to address these issues instead of passing the problems on to future generations to handle. Through our commitment to fiscal integrity, quality jobs, and providing strong education opportunities to our children, the American Dream can be a reality for future generations of Hoosiers,” said Speaker Bosma.