Statehouse policy and politics

Researchers say CTE programs should be multifaceted, offering students opportunities to explore career paths, connections to employers, and paths to a two-year degree.
As the number of English language learners grows in the state, Perry Township tries a new diploma track.
At least one district is going beyond the law by requiring parental permission to use students’ new names.
Students’ need for mental health services is growing, but some conservative activist parents don’t think schools have a big part to play.
The first Indiana school districts head back to school this week amid a spate of new laws and policies that will affect what happens in the classroom.
The law is a big change for families used to paying hundreds of dollars per student for textbooks each year.
The previous version of the so-called “$1 law” frequently failed to help charters buy or lease vacant or unused district buildings.
The law does not restrict the number of waivers districts can grant to graduating students. But it does restrict the percentage of waiver students they can count toward their reported graduation rates, beginning with the 2023-24 school year.
Backers of the law say it will help protect children from pornography and gives the public more power to ensure school districts are acting appropriately.
Higher education leaders and advocates for the laws stressed that finances are a barrier for students, especially when they don’t know what aid’s available to them.
Multiple Republican-led states have created or expanded private school choice this year.
See which notable education bills passed and which didn’t during Indiana’s legislative session.
The increase for traditional public schools came shortly after lawmakers announced more than $1 billion for a voucher expansion in the state’s biennial budget.
The new law has some exceptions and an expiration date of 10 years, but Indiana officials hope it encourages more students to at least consider higher education.
Students discussed their constant worries about gun violence and the disconnect they feel from those welcoming the NRA to town.
The updated version of the proposal says parents only need to be notified, but don’t need to approve of student name and pronoun changes.
Librarians and others worry the legal change could lead to a chilling effect on what schools and public libraries offer to children.
Concerns about reading test scores are driving grants, legislation, and other efforts to improve classroom instruction.
Legislation to auto-enroll eligible students in 21st Century Scholars would mean spending less time trying to enroll students and more time on their success, officials say.
Schools would have to inform parents if a student requests to change their name or pronouns for any reason under the bill.
High school seniors would have until April 15 to fill out the form or get a waiver. Advocates said the bill would make completing the form go from happenstance to a conscious decision.
The bill is in response to claims that pornography is rampant in schools, but its authors couldn’t cite specific titles.
Indiana is one of 41 states where local school board candidates aren’t identified by party on ballots.
The proposed voucher expansion accounts for about a third of additional funding that K-12 schools might receive.
The proposed change would mean a boost in state dollars for charter schools and some small and rural schools.
The changed version of the “don’t say gay” bill also now requires parent consent for pronoun changes.
Lawmakers made some changes, including allowing schools to host joint career fairs, to meet the bill’s requirements.
Supporters say school choice bill would give parents more power, while critics say it would take funds from public schools.
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