Debate Over a Pair of Controversial Education Bills in the Indiana General Assembly
By: Sheila McCrea -
Thursday, January 13, 2022
INDIANAPOLIS - A legislation that could change your child's classroom involves a pair of bills being debated in the Indiana General Assembly.
The two controversial bills are Senate Bill 167, which has been put on pause, and the other is House Bill 1134 passed through committee.
There isn’t much difference between the house and senate bills, but there are many controversial proposals within it.
For example, one proposal would give parents the option to opt their kids out of learning certain lesson plans. Another would require teachers to take recommendations from parents or community members regarding lessons, or activities in the classroom.
Both bills are raising controversy between parents, teachers, and state representatives.
State senators on Wednesday held back their bill, one of three “education matters” proposals being pushed by conservative lawmakers in both chambers of the General Assembly that would mandate that classroom materials be vetted by parent review committees and place restrictions on teaching about racism and political topics.
The House education committee also amended out what teachers called some of the most vexatious parts of another bill, which included a requirement that all school curricula, such as daily lesson plans, be posted publicly online.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said Tuesday that legislators needed additional time to work on language in the Senate bill authored by Republican. Sen. Scott Baldwin.
Officials with Indiana State Teachers Association President Keith Gambill say they “believe that both bills will add many additional layers of work to already very overworked educators”, adding that the proposed measure “veers away from making sure students have a quality of education."
Proposals within the bill include:
Requiring teachers to post materials and activities online and giving parents the choice of what lessons their kids learn. Teachers would have to accommodate those students that opt out while also teaching the other students the original lesson plan.
The Indiana State Teacher's Association is worried this will make a state-wide teacher shortage go from bad to worse.
To review these two bills:
Senate Bill 167: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/senate/167#digest-heading
House Bill 1134: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2022/bills/house/1134
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