Rep. Behning: Hoosier students given greater opportunities
STATEHOUSE— The 2013 legislative session has come to an end, and Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) is pleased to see three of his top priority bills become law this session: House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1003, HEA 1338 and Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 465.
“I am happy to see the General Assembly come together and pass legislation that will give more Hoosier students the opportunity to access the School Choice program,” said Rep. Behning. “It is imperative for us to fight for every student to have the best education so that they may start off early and on the right foot for a prosperous future,” said Rep. Behning.
HEA 1003 will make changes to Indiana’s School Choice program, giving more students the opportunity to access the program. The voucher cap will rise to $4,700 the first year and $4,800 the second year. HEA 1003 will also improve the current school grading system, creating one letter ranking focusing primarily on how students improve. Additionally, the attendance of a full kindergarten year will now qualify as two semesters in a public school before a student can access the School Choice program.
HEA 1338 increases accountability and standards in charter schools, enhancing transparency in student’s performances. The legislation also addresses various issues regarding charter school administration, including making charter schools eligible to receive School Safety Grants. It also addresses other rules, procedures and protocols pertaining to Indiana charter schools so that they are performing optimally.
SEA 465 creates the Indiana Works Council, which will provide recommendations to the legislature on how to create innovative improvements to Indiana’s job skills training. The governor will designate distinct geographic regions throughout the state and establish a Works Council for each region. Each council is required to submit a comprehensive evaluation of the career, technical and vocational opportunities available to high school students in the region before the end of the year. From the evaluations, an alternative curriculum can be implemented for students to more closely align their studies and training with educational pathways to high-wage, high-demand jobs.
“This session, I continued to make Indiana children’s education my top priority here at the Statehouse,” said Rep. Behning. “Indiana’s students are this state’s future and it is a moral obligation that we do everything we can to prepare them and provide the necessary tools to reach their full potential.”