Press Releases
Studies / Reports
Media Inquiries / Spokespeople
BizVoice Magazine
Multimedia

Membership
Join Now!

FEATURED PRODUCTS

Health Care Savings
Employment Posters
Office Solutions

Mega Workforce Bills Significantly Amended; High School Diploma Measures Nearing Floor Votes; Teacher Licensure Measure Has Issues But Includes Chamber-supported Language

2018-02-02T13:37:20+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|

Workforce Development Bills Significantly Amended

Bill # and Title: SB 50 – Workforce Development: Career and Technical Education
Author: Sen. Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown)
Summary: Establishes the College and Career Funding Review Committee. Requires the review committee to study certain issues and to submit a report to the Governor and Legislative Council concerning the results of the study. Provides that the Governor shall appoint a secretary of workforce training. Provides that if an employer has entered into an agreement with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) for EDGE credits, the IEDC may enter into an additional agreement with the employer to also provide tax credits to individuals who relocate to Indiana to become employed by the employer in a new high demand, unfilled job, if the corporation determines that the jobs are not likely to be filled by current Indiana residents. Establishes a state income tax credit for expenditures and donations made on behalf of an employee or student to meet the requirements for portable workforce credentials that are required or beneficial for targeted employment identified by the Department of Workforce Development. Requires the newly-established Board for Technical Education to identify workforce training programs that are underperforming and request that the budget agency reduce allotments for the program for the state fiscal year and limits the amount of tax credits in that state fiscal year to the amount the allotments are reduced…
Chamber Position: Support in Part/Oppose in Part
Status: Amended in the Senate Appropriations Committee and then voted out 11-2; now moves to the Senate floor for additional amendments and floor vote.

Update/Chamber Action: This is the Senate’s comprehensive workforce development bill this session. The Chamber is very supportive of both the employer training tax credit and the employee relocation tax credit embedded within this legislation as it provides both short-term and long-term solutions to skilling up our incumbent workforce and incentivizing potential out-of-state employees to move to Indiana to work and live. We also support the idea of the career counseling language, as the Chamber Foundation’s study in 2014 identified that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to devote enough time to career counseling. We have some concerns regarding the new board created in the legislation as it seems duplicative and unnecessary, but appreciate that employers have a seat and a voice at the table. We look forward to working with the author of the bill as it moves forward.

Bill # and Title: HB 1002 – Reorganization of Workforce Funding and Programs
Author: Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers)
Summary: Repeals various educational and workforce training programs and provides for program phaseouts, effective July 1, 2019 and requires Legislative Services Agency to study the effectiveness of all workforce programs and provide the information to an interim study committee for review. Requires the State Workforce Innovation Council to review each proposed grant award by the Department of Workforce Development before the grant is awarded by the department. Establishes the Next Level Workforce Training and Development fund as a dedicated fund for certain state workforce training and development programs. Dedicates all corporate adjusted gross income tax revenues to the fund. Establishes the employer workforce training grant fund to provide money for grants to eligible employers that incur costs or expenses for training programs that allow their employees or prospective employees in Indiana to attain a work-related degree, certification or credential. Makes a continuous appropriation from the Employer Workforce Training Grant Fund to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. Requires the State Board of Education, when establishing an apprenticeship as a graduation pathway requirement, to establish as an apprenticeship only an apprenticeship program registered under the federal National Apprenticeship Act or another federal apprenticeship program administered by the United States Department of Labor. …
Chamber Position: Support in Part
Status: The bill was amended in the House Ways and Means Committee and voted out 18-4. It was then amended on the House floor; now eligible for a final House vote on Monday.

Update/Chamber Action: Tackling the issue of creating a skilled workforce, without using any additional dollars, is a serious undertaking and requires bold ideas. This legislation provides such out-of-the-box thinking. We support the return on investment reports, the grants, the CTE student info availability to employers, among many other provisions. We will continue to engage our members for input. Overall, the Chamber applauds the effort in this legislation to make necessary changes to assist in the effort to tackle workforce development.


High School Diploma and Graduation Pathways Legislation Moves Toward Final House Vote

Bill # and Title: HB 1426 – Education Matters
Author: Rep. Bob Behning (R-Plainfield)
Summary: Requires the State Board of Education to establish one Indiana diploma for individuals who successfully complete high school graduation requirements. Provides that each Indiana diploma must include one of the following designations: (1) General designation. (2) Core 40 designation. (3) Core 40 with academic honors designation. (4) Core 40 with technical honors designation. Requires, in adopting Core 40 curriculum models, the State Board to consider math course requirements other than Algebra II. Provides that a nationally recognized college entrance exam shall be administered as part of the statewide assessment program for high school students. Eliminates the requirement of end-of-course assessments to be administered as part of the statewide assessment program.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: The House Ways and Means Committee amended the local graduation pathway fund language out of the bill and voted it out 20-1. It then was amended on the House floor and will be eligible for final vote Monday.

Update/Chamber Action: The Chamber supports a single diploma model, as long as it is rigorous and starts at the Core 40 level with an opt-out to the general diploma. We also strongly support conforming changes to reflect the work of the Graduation Pathways Taskforce recommendation passed by the State Board of Education last fall. (The Chamber was a representative on the Graduation Pathways Taskforce in 2017.) Lastly, we appreciate the General Assembly working with the U.S. Department of Education to ensure the state diploma will be compliant with federal regulations while maintaining rigor.


Employability Skills and Work Ethic Certificate Legislation Moves Ahead

Bill # and Title: SB 297 – Employability Skills Curriculum
Author: Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond)
Summary: Provides that, not later than July 1, 2019, each school within a school corporation shall include interdisciplinary employability skills standards established by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), in consultation with the Department of Education and approved by the State Board of Education, in the school’s curriculum. Establishes the Work Ethic Certificate program and fund. Requires the DWD to administer the program. Expands the Indiana Career Explorer pilot program.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: After the Senate Education Committee moved the bill unanimously, it was recommitted to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further consideration. It was discussed without amendments and voted out of committee 11-0. It now moves to the full Senate floor for second reading amendments and further debate.

Update/Chamber Action: The Chamber is supportive of the creation of employability skills standards, as we hear from employers every day about the need for student graduates with stronger soft skills. In addition, the Chamber is very supportive of the Governor’s successful Work Ethic Certificate program and we welcome it to be codified into law with the hopes that funding can be secured during the 2019 session.


Senate Diploma Bill Moves to the Floor

Bill # and Title: SB 177 – Indiana High School Diploma
Author: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn)
Summary: Requires the State Board of Education to establish one Indiana diploma for individuals who successfully complete high school graduation requirements. Provides that an Indiana diploma may include one of the following distinctions: (1) Core 40 distinction. (2) Core 40 academic honors distinction. (3) Core 40 technical honors distinction. The diploma would start at the Core 40 level and have the opportunity for opt-outs for the general diploma. Allows for options to be developed to Algebra 2 requirements.
Chamber Position: Support
Status: Amended and passed out of the Senate Education Committee 10-0; now moves to the full Senate floor for further consideration.

Update/Chamber Action: The bill was significantly amended in committee so that the diploma language now mirrors that in HB 1426, but without the graduation pathways component.

The Chamber supports a single diploma model, as long as it is rigorous and starts at the Core 40 level with an opt-out to the general diploma. We support the opportunity for studying alternatives to Algebra 2, but strongly suggest that in return a student must have four years of math to graduate from high school.


Teacher Licensure Bill Has Issues But Includes Chamber-Supported Language

Bill # and Title: SB 378 – Teacher Content Area Examination Waiver
Author: Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington)
Summary: Provides that the Department of Education may grant an initial practitioner’s license to an individual who: (1) took the content area examination twice and did not pass; and (2) meets certain other requirements. Limits the number of individuals who may be granted an initial practitioner license without passing the content area examination. Provides that a postsecondary educational institution determines which individuals who have completed the institution’s teacher preparation program are eligible. Establishes requirements for renewal of an initial practitioner license for an individual who did not pass the content area examination. Requires the department to post on the department’s web site the pass rate of the content area examination for each postsecondary educational institution. Allows for supplemental pay for teachers in high-need areas outside of the collective bargaining agreement.
Chamber Position: Support in Part/Neutral in Part
Status: Amended and passed out of the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 9-0; now moves to the Senate floor.

Update/Chamber Action: The bill was amended in committee to change and limit the number of unlicensed teachers in the state, as well as include language to allow for supplemental pay for teachers in high-need areas outside of the collective bargaining agreement.

The Chamber strongly supports the supplemental pay language, as we feel that we should have the opportunity to pay teachers more in high-need areas such as STEM and special education. We are currently still studying the teacher licensure language as we support those in the workforce with strong content-area specialty to have the opportunity to teach in the classroom, but have some concerns regarding education students receiving provisional licenses after failing their content area exams. Having limitations on the number of students, as well as qualifications that they come within 10% of passing, helps the issue.

Resource: Caryl Auslander at (317) 264-6880 or email: causlander@indianachamber.com