House Bill 1002 (Career and Technical Education Matters), authored by Rep. Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), was amended and passed by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee this week. The measure takes various approaches aimed at educating more Hoosiers in the jobs demanded by today’s employers. This includes strengthening career-technical education (CTE) programming for Indiana high school students and increasing the state’s investment in the Next Level Jobs training grants for individuals and employers, both of which have been championed by the Chamber.

Amendments approved in committee included removing language requiring every ninth and 10th grade student to take a CTE course (the Chamber opposes removal of that language), adding members of the General Assembly to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet and inserting language from Senate Bill 420 regarding industry credential organizations (ICOs) and career coaching. The ICOs, formed as nonprofit organizations composed of industry representatives, are intended to support activities that increase CTE opportunities for students in alignment with local economic and labor needs.

House Bill 1629 (Various Education Matters), authored by Rep. Robert Behning (R-Indianapolis), also was amended and passed by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee this week. The bill includes several provisions, including a change to the state’s EARN Indiana program championed by the Chamber that would expand the program to support internship opportunities for both high school and college students. The Chamber does not support an amendment to the bill that removed language requiring student completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a high school graduation requirement, which included an opt-out option for parents and school principals. The Chamber believes that increased emphasis on FAFSA completion is a critical step in increasing the state’s low postsecondary attainment rate and equipping students with the training and credentials demanded by Indiana employers and the state’s economy.

As HB 1002 and HB 1629 continue to move through the legislative process, the Chamber will be working closely with lawmakers to strengthen the current language and address the remaining areas of concern highlighted above.

Resource: Jason Bearce at (317) 264-6880 or email: [email protected]