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Monday, May 20
The Indiana Daily Student

city politics education

Education bills pushed towards the end in last week of IGA legislative session

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There are just days left in Indiana’s 2024 legislative session. Both houses adjourn March 14, meaning all proposed legislation must be finalized by then. As deadlines approach, here are some of the education-related bills that have or may soon reach the governor’s desk. 

Senate Bill 1 

SB1 would require third graders who don’t pass IREAD literacy assessments to be held back unless they receive a “good cause” exemption, which include situations like learning English as a second language or previous retention. 

In 2023, 7,118 out of the 7,528 Indiana students who did not pass IREAD still advanced to fourth grade — 95%. Still, the bill faces opposition from those who believe there are negative long-term effects from holding students back. 

SB1 will go to the governor’s desk after the Senate concurred with amendments Feb. 29. 

House Bill 1093 and Senate Bill 146  

HB1093 and SB146 both concern youth employment. HB1093 removes several restrictions on employing minors, allowing minors to work more hours on school nights and for those over 16 to work in “hazardous” agriculture jobs. SB146 lowers the minimum age required to ring up alcohol from 19 to 18 and previously contained similar language to the corresponding house bill.  

The bills were hotly debated. Support came from employers, Amish communities and those who wanted to align Indiana state law with the federal government’s Fair Labor Standards Act. Opposition came from labor unions, advocates and some parents. 

Both bills have passed both houses and will go to Holcomb. 

Senate Bill 282 

SB282 addresses student truancy. It would require schools to intervene if students in kindergarten through sixth grade miss at least five days of school within a 10-week period. The schools would have to meet with parents to make a plan addressing the issue. 

However, the bill doesn’t address Indiana’s current laws surrounding truancy, which require schools to report students who miss over 10 days of school to a juvenile court intake officer. 

The bill also includes protections for employees accused of misconduct without substantiation. This provision was added as an amendment by Democratic Rep. Tonya Pfaff and passed with bipartisan support. 

SB282 passed the House, but the Senate disagreed with amendments, meaning the House and Senate will continue negotiations over the bill. 

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