Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Local News

April 1, 2013

High-performing schools bill stalled in House

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislation that would free high-performing schools from some state regulations is stalled in the House, as lawmakers work out details of how much flexibility to give those schools.

One of the sticking points that has kept Senate Bill 189 from coming up for a committee vote in the House is disagreement over the bill’s provision that would allow those high-performing schools to shorten their school year.

The bill’s author, Republican Sen. Mike Delph of Carmel, wants to free top-achieving schools from the state’s current 180-day school year requirement and give them some additional flexibility in teacher evaluations and curriculum.

But one of the bill’s sponsors in the House said there are some reservations about letting schools shorten their school year when other options – including shortening the school day – may be a better option.

“There is a general consensus that we need to create more flexibility for high-performing schools,” said Rep. Todd Huston, a freshman Republican legislator from Fishers. “The question is how do we do that in a way that benefits the kids.”

Senate Bill 189 passed out of the Senate in mid-February on a vote of 44-5, but has yet to have a committee vote in the House. Testimony has been heard on the bill by the House education committee but a vote on it has been postponed several times.

It’s now expected to come up again in front of the House education committee next week. Huston said it will likely be amended but declined to say what amendments he’ll offer or support.

Delph wasn’t available for comment.

The bill is designed to give high-performing school districts what Delph calls “regulatory relief” from certain state education rules. If passed, it would allow those school districts that meet certain standards to develop some of their own curriculum, design their own teacher evaluations, and create their own plan for career and technical training.

It would allow those school districts to organize their classroom time based on instructional minutes instead of the current 180-day school year.

To qualify, schools would have to meet certain goals, including a 90 percent graduation rate and higher SAT scores than statewide averages.

Only about 20 school districts, out of the state’s nearly 300 districts, currently qualify. Two school corporations in Delph’s district – Zionsville and Carmel-Clay – would qualify based on their current performance.

The bill has the enthusiastic support of administrators with the Zionsville Community Schools; they see it as a way to get some relief from the pressures created three years ago when the state cut $300 million in funding to K-12 schools.

Mike Shafer, the district’s chief financial officer, has said the legislation, among other things, would allow some schools to offer “e-days,” enabling students to stay home from school and complete coursework online.

He said the bill is aimed at schools that are “not in need of micromanaging.”

There’s been support from both the Republican-controlled House and from Republican Gov. Mike Pence for rewarding high-performing schools.

Pence, for example, is calling for a small increase in school funding over the next two years, with the second year’s increase based on schools meeting certain performance growth benchmarks.

But there has been reluctance on the part of several House education committee members, including committee chairman, Rep. Bob Behning of Indianapolis, to cut short the 180-day school year.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police blotter: April 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Mall mortgage up for auction The mortgage note for the Logansport Mall is scheduled to be sold at auction early next month. Foreclosure procedures for the mall began when lawyers for Algonquin State Bank, N.A., out of Algonquin, Ill., filed a complaint against the mall's owner -

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT042314 Earth Day4.jpg Being kind to their mother: Lewis Cass students plant trees on Earth Day WALTON -- Weeks of planning came together Tuesday as students planted 22 trees on the grounds of Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School in observance of Earth Day. Amy Densborn, a science teacher at Lewis Cass, wanted to plant the trees so that students in s

    April 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • NWS-PT042314 Bags.jpg Students collect 2,475 pounds of plastic bags The Cass County Solid Waste Management District now knows to be careful what you ask for. The district opted to again this year host its plastic shopping bag contest for area elementary schools in observance of Earth Day. Overall, the district recei

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate sues for religious services at Miami County prison BUNKER HILL – A Native American inmate is suing the Miami Correctional Facility for violating his constitutional religious freedom after the prison last year terminated Native American worship services. Daniel Littlepage says in a class action lawsui

    April 22, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT042214 Indiana Beach Viper.jpg Monticello amusement park brings new thrills MONTICELLO -- Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster -- the Galaxi -- is being retired after 42 years. Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago. "At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he said. "It's one

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeastern school board reopens its search for a principal at Lewis Cass WALTON -- Southeastern School Corp. officials thought they had found their new principal for Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School. The position was offered to a candidate, but he declined to accept it, Superintendent Trudie Hedrick reported to the school b

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided Guests will be able to climb into a carved-out pumpkin that will circle above Indiana Beach in one of the park's latest rides -- the Pumpkin Ferris Wheel.

    April 22, 2014

  • shelly maness Woman arrested in meth lab find MACY — A narcotics investigation led to the recent arrest of a Fulton County woman on several drug charges. Shelly Maness, 35, Macy, was arrested on two felony counts of dealing in methamphetamine, possession of meth, possession of an illegal drug la

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
eEdition