Here is a list of Indiana Instruction-related bills that have been passed by the legislature, and that are awaiting Governor Holcomb’s signature to become law:
- Senate Bill 172 would require public schools to offer computer science classes as electives and as part of the science curriculum for K-12 students
- Senate Bill 297 would require schools to include “employability skills” or “soft skills” in their curricula.
- Senate Bill 65 would require school districts to allow parents to examine any instructional materials dealing with sex education, as well as send out consent forms for sex ed classes.
- Senate Bill 1399 would require the state board to create an elementary ed license in math and science.
- House bill 387 would allow districts to pay teachers different amounts and give special ed and science teachers extra stipends to fill jobs.
Many of these Bills are contentious, primarily #’s 2, 3, 4 and 5. Numbers 1 and 2 above essentially create unfunded mandates for public schools, already underfunded in the state. Some opponents to #3 argue that the Bill is an attempt to limit discussions and education about LBGTQ issues and peoples. Number 4 creates an opportunity for teacher education institutions to meet the demand for the new el ed licenses by creating new programs; however, how these new programs are funded and supported is unclear. The last item above, #5, is opposed by most teachers’ organizations as they argue that differential payment of stipends will not solve Indiana’s teacher shortage. Instead, they argue such payments are one time only and create unfair (although arguably market-based) divisions between the noted teachers and those in other disciplines.