With summer nearing an end, the General Assembly’s interim study committees are just starting to heat up. The Select Commission on Education has met six times since late April and have been studying and hearing public testimony on issues related to the state’s A-F grading system of schools, turnaround academies, public schools ability to disannex from their existing school corporation, and the proportions on what is considered instructional and noninstructional spending by public schools. At their next meeting on August 14, the commission will study the implementation of policies surrounding teacher evaluations and licensing. They will also meet two more times – September 4 & 19. Please check the General Assembly’s website for specific agendas, times and location of these meetings.
Other committees have begun posting their meetings, including the Commission on Developmental Disabilities, Commission on Autism, Interim Study Committee on Driver Education, Committee on Child Care (the first posted meeting has been cancelled), Child Custody & Support Committee, Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee, and the Health Finance Commission. The full calendar of meetings is available on the General Assembly’s website. MCCOY will be following most of the above-listed committees for issues relevant to our policy priorities.
One issue of importance to MCCOY was not assigned to be studied this summer – HEA1169 School discipline (Koch – R-Bedford). Mindi Goodpaster worked with the education committee of the Children’s Coalition of Indiana (CCI) to organize the Bullying in Indiana mini-symposium on July 26. This event, the first of its kind for the CCI, was a huge success. The symposium featured three expert panels addressing the issues of defining bullying and cyberbullying within Indiana’s current statute; school discipline policies related to bullying and the intersection with First Amendment rights; and best practices related to both school and state level policy. The panelists included: