GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES
Senate Appropriations Committee
Yesterday morning, the committee met to hear three bills pertaining to public education. The bills were:
HB 1001, K-12 funding
Senator Ryan Mishler is the sponsor of the bill in the Senate. This is the House version to deal with the deficiency in the state tuition support appropriation. The bill was amended by voice vote. The amendment stated that the state budget director shall (not may) transfer money from the state tuition reserve account to the state general fund to cover the difference between the state budget appropriation amount for tuition support and the actual appropriation needed to fund the school distribution formula. Secondly, the amendment amended IC 20-43-4-5 regarding how kindergarten pupils are counted for school formula purposes. It states, “In determining ADM, each kindergarten pupil who is five (5) years of age on or before the day of the fall count of ADM of the school year under section 2 of this chapter shall be counted as: (1)one pupil, if the pupil is enrolled in full-day kindergarten program; or (2)one-half pupil, if the pupil is enrolled in a half-day kindergarten program.
Testifying in support of the bill were: ISBA, IFT, ISTA, Coalition for Public Education, and IASBO who also testified for IAPSS. The amended bill passed 9-0.
HB 1167, school corporation financial management
Senator Mishler is the sponsor of the bill. This is the clean-up bill for HEA 1009 that contains language supported by IASBO. The bill was amended by a voice vote. The amendment was prepared by IASBO. The amendment clarified how school corporations can have a textbook rental fund outside of the new education fund. Further, the amendment deleted language in HEA 1009 that would authorize a school corporation to appropriate money from its rainy day fund to pay for teacher bonuses and stipends.
Testifying in favor of the bill were: ISBA, ISTA and IASBO. The amended bill passed 11-0.
HB 1315, school corporation financial management
Again, Senator Mishler is the Senate sponsor. This bill has three distinct parts: the Gary Community School Corporation school board; Ball State University taking over the governance of the Muncie Community Schools; and, School Corporation Financial Condition Analysis. The hearing lasted three hours with the majority of the discussion, testimony and questions centered on Gary and Muncie. Testifying on one or both of these issues were: Ball State University President Mearns; Rick Hall, the chair of the BSU Board of Trustees; Senators Lanane and Melton; Muncie’s teacher union president; two Gary parents; ISBA, ISTA IFT, IUSA, and a written statement from the Mayor of Muncie.
IASBO testified only on the portion of the bill that dealt with fiscal indicators for school corporations. IASBO has a legislative resolution supporting the concept of creating a mechanism that will provide an early warning process to assist school corporations who are experiencing financial difficulties. IASBO emphasized the need to have a clear process and procedures for implementation of this concept. IASBO recommended that the committee created to determine the fiscal indicators continue into the future to assist the Distressed Unit Appeals Board with the implementation process. IASBO continues to have a member on this committee. Further, IASBO emphasized the need for confidentiality when a watch list of school corporations in fiscal distress is created. IASBO spoke on several issues surrounding the fiscal factors including trend data and thresholds for guidance for school boards and administrators.
IASBO (also testifying for IAPSS) supported this section of the bill as did ISBA and IUSA. Senator Mishler held the bill till next week when amendments will be presented on HB 1315.
Tuesday, February 20
House Education Committee – 8:30 am – House Chamber
SB 172 Computer science
SB 217 Dyslexia
SB 354 Freeway school corporations and schools
Wednesday, February 21
Amend & Vote Only
HB 1024 Heat preparedness training for coaches
HB 1230 School safety
HB 1314 Students receiving foster care services
HB 1398 Coalition of school corporations
Testimony, Amend, Vote
HB 1426 Education matters
HB 1356 Bullying
HB 1399 Elementary school teacher content area licenses
HB 1420 Various education matters
HB 1421 School discipline
Dennis L. Costerison,