[r91] Adult Education bill passes both chambers (3/31/2011)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Start Date: 3/31/2011 All Day
End Date: 3/31/2011
STATEHOUSE - Rep. Bob Behning (R- Indianapolis) authored House Bill 1340, which realigns responsibilities for the delivery of career, technical and adult education between the State Board of Education and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). The State Board of Education will be responsible for career and technical education, while the DWD will be responsible for adult education.

The realignment of these programs creates a workforce development strategy that better coordinates services for adults, who need basic skills remediation, re-employment assistance and occupational training.

House Bill 1340 was co-authored by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and Rep. Shelia Klinker (D- Lafayette).

"It's great to see a bipartisan, educational bill successfully move its way through both chambers," said Rep. Behning. "This bill creates consistent adult education across the State of Indiana and will allow the state to better serve adult and high school learners," said Rep. Behning.

The provisions of this bill requires the State Board of Education to be responsible for receiving, distributing and accounting for funds received for Career and Technical Education programs. This changes the current set-up, where the DWD and State Board of Education split the administration of this program. The DWD will be responsible for the General Education Development (GED) diploma program and for the planning and implementation of adult education programs.

According to a 2009 report by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, over 500,000 Hoosiers, who are of workforce age, do not have GED or a diploma. Out of that 500,000, only 38,000 were enrolled in adult education programs last year.

"The passage of this bill helps make Indiana a workforce ready state," said Rep. Behning. "Expanding educational opportunities for adults gives them more opportunities to compete in the 21st century economy."

HB 1340 passed both the House and Senate by a unanimous vote, with no amendments made in the Senate. The bill then returned to the House and was signed by the Speaker. The bill will now move to the Governor's desk to await his signature.