Catching up with the legislature (or trying to, anyway)

Several of the bills to implement Gov. Mitch Daniels’ education agenda are moving through the Indiana General Assembly — some faster than others.

Up next: House Bill 1003, the school vouchers bill, is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the House Education Committee, which meets at 9 a.m. in the House Chambers. The bill, supported by Daniels and state Superintendent Tony Bennett, would provide taxpayer-funded vouchers to help pay tuition for parents who transfer their children from public to private schools.

It’s hard to keep track of legislation from a distance – ideally, you’d want to attend every meeting of the House Education Committee and the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, then follow the debates on the floor of the House and Senate. But we’ll make a stab at it anyway.

Bills that have passed either the House or Senate

House Bill 1002, which seeks to expand the number of charter schools and gives charters access to unused public-school property, was approved by the House last week, 59-37. Lots of amendments were added, and the bill is clearly a work in progress. Next step: a committee hearing in the Senate.

Bills in committee this week

Senate Bill 1, which creates new procedures for teacher evaluations and mandates merit pay for teachers, was subject to three hours of committee testimony last week. The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to consider amendments and vote on the bill this Wednesday Continue reading