When it comes to education, the 2012 session of the Indiana General Assembly may be best remembered for the bills that died, not for the ones that passed.
Lawmakers did accomplish one notable deed, boosting state funding for full-day kindergarten to where parents will no longer have to pay for the privilege. To which we say: It’s about time.
As for what lawmakers didn’t do, the following measures were apparently given serious consideration but died a merciful death:
– Allowing school boards to mandate the teaching of “creation science”
– Prescribing standards for the singing of the National Anthem at school events
– Barring schools from starting fall classes before Labor Day
– Ordering a return to a single-class high school basketball tournament
– Requiring schools to teach cursive writing as part of the curriculum
You have to think that some legislators must have too much time on their hands to come up with such ideas.
Full-day kindergarten was part of House Enrolled Act 1376, which passed right before lawmakers adjourned early Saturday morning. It increased the state grant for full-day kindergarten to $2,400 per child – up from $1,190.60. Schools should no longer have to charge full-day kindergarten fees, which in some districts have exceeded $1,000. In fact, the bill prohibits such fees starting this fall.
Gov. Mitch Daniels identified full-day kindergarten as a priority six years ago, but it got sidetracked by economic difficulties and, some would argue, other priorities. Continue reading