Education

Legislative Intent

By Laura Greifner — March 14, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A school deregulation bill designed to simplify Indiana’s education rules was so confusing that it had to be vastly clarified in the House of Representatives before being killed March 2. The House sponsor didn’t call it to a vote, he said, because a member of his party was absent, and he needed every vote he could get.

But Rep. Robert W. Behning, the sponsor, hasn’t given up. The Republican plans to find a new place for the legislation in a conference committee before the session closes this month.

Senate Bill 324 would have allowed school corporations to exempt themselves from certain education codes and regulations, ranging from policies on textbooks and curriculum to guidelines on counseling programs,AIDS education, and early-childhood programs.

“The bill as it originally [passed] the Senate was about local control,” Rep. Behning said last week. “We want to do what we can to let teachers do what they do best, which is teach, and not have their hands tied. Why have a one-size-fits-all bill coming from Indianapolis?”

Originally, the bill delineated which policy areas were ineligible to be voted exempt, Rep. Behning said, which he thinks may have contributed to the confusion. Once the measure reached a House committee, he rewrote it so it would outline the policies that would be eligible for exemption. He believes that change eliminated most of the confusion.

“I think that [the confusion] was probably a legitimate argument early on,” he said. But the redrafting in the House, he said, “added a lot of clarity to the issue.”

Daniel L. Clark, the deputy executive director of the Indiana State Teachers Association, agrees that the original wording was troublesome. He believes that listing the programs that would be exempt is a better approach.

“It makes it more responsible and a much nicer place to start,” Mr. Clark said, adding that he still believes the bill needs analysis before it can proceed.

Mr. Clark also pointed out that in a 1999 school accountability law, Indiana gave school districts the option of waiving curriculum and textbook requirements, so part of the bill is redundant.

Still, Rep. Behning continues to look for a place for the language.

“I intend to find a home for it in a conference committee and put it in a bill and move it forward,” he said.

A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2006 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read