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Top Five New Education Laws Effective July 1

At the beginning of the 2018 legislative session, ISTA was tracking more than 150 education-related bills. While many of these bills were not heard, died or were incorporated into other bills, ISTA followed each one to ensure members were represented and had their interests heard.

Below are five education laws effective July 1 with the most impact on members’ work.

1. HB 1001 - School Funding
This bill provides relief for schools facing cutbacks due to a school funding shortfall based upon erroneous estimates. State estimates suggested that the shortfall could be as high as $60 million next year. The bill makes the additional funding for this year up to $25 million and caps the second year at $75 million.

2. HB 1315 – Loss of Teacher Rights
This controversial bill passed during the one-day special legislative session. The bill takes away local control of schools in Gary and Muncie. Collective bargaining rights for Muncie teachers remain unclear. For all other Indiana teachers, the bill authorizes an emergency manager, assigned to the school district, to lay off up to five percent of teachers mid-year.

3. SB 230 – Suicide Prevention
Requires teachers and certain school employees to receive at least two hours of suicide awareness and prevention training.

4. SB 297 – Soft Skills Curriculum
Requires each school to include interdisciplinary employability skill standards, also known as soft skills. The bill also establishes the work ethic certificate program.

5. HB 1421 – School Discipline
The bill aims at reducing student suspensions and expulsions as exclusionary policies, which often disproportionately and negatively impact minority students. ISTA also successfully added teachers and education support professional organizations (originally only parent groups and state educational institutions) as collaborators in the implementation of school discipline and behavioral improvement plans.

A full list of education laws effective July 1 can be found on our website.