The Daniels-Bennett education agenda is showing up in bills posted to the Indiana General Assembly’s website, and so are other school-related measures. Here’s a preliminary look, starting with the proposals backed by the governor and state superintendent:
— HB 1337, teacher contracts: rewrites the collective bargaining law; creates a new system for evaluating teachers, including performance-based criteria; lessens seniority protections; limits bargaining to wages and wage-related benefits.
— HB 1002, charter schools: establishes a state charter schools board; allows private colleges and mayors of second-class cities to sponsor charter schools; makes other changes to encourage charters.
— SB 496 and HB 1250, “parent trigger” law: allows a majority of parents in a low-performing school to have it closed, convert it to a charter school, or use its funding to send their children to private schools.
— HB 1249, early graduation: diverts school funding to college scholarships for students who finish high school early; directs the State Board of Education to establish procedures for completing school requirements by the end of 11th grade.
Here are other education-related bills that aren’t part of the official agenda:
— HB 1238, referendum gag rule: restricts school corporations, school boards and school employees from advocating a tax increase to support schools.
— SB 410, fund transfers: extends through 2012 the option that school corporations can transfer half their capital projects tax levy to support operating expenses.
— SB 326, school board elections: requires board members to be chosen in partisan elections, running as representatives of political parties.
You can peruse legislation by category at the General Assembly website, where there are about 20 subcategories under “schools” and more bills are being posted every day. Keep in mind that bills can be debated and amended numerous times, in committees, the House and the Senate. Some of these may not even be considered. But the ones that make up the Daniels-Bennett agenda are likely to spark interesting discussions.