Senate committee passes Cook’s bill increasing student course options

Posted by: Devan Strebing & Shelby Seay  | Thursday, March 23, 2017

STATEHOUSE (March 23, 2017) — The Senate Committee on Education and Career Development recently passed State Rep. Tony Cook’s (R-Cicero) bill that would provide students with access to additional specialty courses and programs that may not be offered at their school.

Cook said this bill would help balance the education playing field by allowing the Department of Education to develop a Course Access Program. This program would include a catalog of specialty classes in subject areas and certificate business/trade courses. Students could enroll in these courses through a traditional classroom setting or an approved online program without having to transfer schools.

“Geographical location or a lack of educators specializing in certain subject matter should not limit the opportunities for Hoosier students to access high-quality courses,” Cook said. “This course catalog would provide students and their families the option to customize their education to their career interests, regardless of where they are enrolled.” 

According to Cook, small or rural schools, and those in urban areas, may lack the necessary resources to provide specialty classes or trade programs. Cook said under his proposal, students would be able to enroll in an approved class without needing authorization from their school corporation, but the Department of Education would have the authority to oversee courses and course providers.

House Bill 1007 now moves to the full Senate for further consideration. To learn more about this bill, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

A high-resolution photo of Cook can be downloaded by clicking here.