News release from Indiana State Senator Jim Banks (R-17th):
Sen. Banks’ Higher Education Reform Plan Signed into Law
Public School Leadership, Teacher Preparation Bills Also Signed
(May 13, 2013) STATEHOUSE – Gov. Mike Pence recently signed into law State Sen. Jim Banks’ (R-Columbia City) bills to make higher education more accountable and affordable for Hoosiers.
This session, Banks authored several bills intended to improve Indiana’s higher education system. His legislation approved includes:
- Senate Enrolled Act 98 – Establishes the Commission on Education Interim Study Committee, which will review topics related to the governance and operation of regional campuses.
- Senate Enrolled Act 177 – Grants in-state tuition eligibility to honorably discharged veterans and active National Guard members who enroll in one of Indiana’s state colleges within a year of settling in Indiana.
- Senate Enrolled Act 180 – Requires each university to prepare and publish a report on its grading and employment practices, including employee salaries, faculty responsibilities and student grade point averages.
- Senate Enrolled Act 182 – Requires the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and state colleges to develop policies that expand college credit transferability. This includes allowing students who earn a two-year associate degree to transfer their credits to a related four-year bachelor’s degree program and enter at the same status as a junior.
- Senate Enrolled Act 406 – Establishes a streamlined program for administering college-level classes to high school students for dual credit.
“Currently, less than one-third of Hoosier college students graduate in four years, and only slightly more than half graduate in six years,” Banks said. “This is often due to students’ financial difficulties and administrative constraints. These new laws will confront this issue, creating a higher education system that works with students’ circumstances.”
Pence also approved Banks’ legislation aimed at improving public school leadership and instruction:
- Senate Enrolled Act 402 – Creates the Principal Leadership Institute at Indiana State University to teach new leadership, management and communication techniques to public school principals.
- Senate Enrolled Act 409 – Requires the Department of Education to develop performance standards for teacher education departments, which will then be used to rate teacher preparation programs.
“The way a student performs in school often predicts their performance in college and the workplace,” Banks said. “That’s why it’s important to give them an academic environment that encourages and cultivates learning at a higher level. Better-prepared teachers and administrators will ensure our children are equipped for successful futures.”