House Bill 1629 – Various Education Matters
Authored by Rep. Robert Behning (R-Indianapolis)

Bills includes several provisions aligned with Indiana Chamber policy priorities, including expansion of state-supported internships and career-technical education (CTE) programming for high school students and a new high school graduation requirement designed to increase student access to financial aid for further education and workforce training.

Chamber Position:
 Support

The Latest: Heard by House Education Committee this week with a committee vote expected next week.

Chamber Action/Commentary: This bill includes proposals that would increase student access to work-based learning and technical education programming. The bill would expand the state’s EARN Indiana program, which currently supports internship opportunities for low-income college students, to include high school students as well. The EARN program has been embraced by Hoosier students and employers alike, providing meaningful work-and-learn experience for students and a cost subsidy to employers who provide these opportunities.

The Indiana Chamber helps connect students and employers to the EARN Indiana funds through the Indiana INTERNnet platform and welcomes the opportunity to increase statewide access to quality internship experiences for both high school and college students.

What’s more, HB 1629 would make student completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a high school graduation requirement, albeit with an opt-out option. The FAFSA is a prerequisite for accessing need- and merit-based financial aid from the state, federal government and related sources, including the high-demand, short-term certificate programs supported by the Governor’s Next Level Jobs initiative. The bill also encourages school districts’ Career and Technical Education Centers to allow students who attend charter schools and non-public schools to access their CTE programming.

The bottom line: HB 1629 would help more Hoosier students gain the relevant work experience and skills Indiana employers need and our state’s economy demands.

Resource: Jason Bearce at (317) 264-6880 or email: jbearce@indianachamber.com