New Indiana Laws Take Effect as Students Return to School This Week in Many Areas

FROM SEN. MARK MESSMER (R-JASPER)

STATE WIDE -- Many schools have started the new academic calendar, making this the first school year under the new state budget passed by the Indiana General Assembly. In the budget, we increased K-12 support by $763 million, including a $20 million increase for school safety grants.

During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers created measures that would increase school bus safety, expand workforce development opportunities, enhance security procedures in schools and strengthen students’ civics knowledge.

Here are some positive changes you can expect to see as students return to school.

  • Schools are now required to minimize bus stopsthat make children cross highways in high-speed areas.
  • High schools can replace standard high school courses with career and technical education and work-based courses, programs or experiences of similar subject matter and equal or greater rigor, helping more students graduate with real-world work experience.
  • Indiana public schools and accredited nonpublic schools must conduct at least one active-shooter drill each year.
  • Public schools will now administer the U.S. citizenship test as part of the required high school curriculum. Students are not required to pass the test, but it’s our hope this will help increase Hoosier students’ awareness of how our country operates.

For more information on these actions, click here.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns about these new laws or other topics, please contact me by email at Senator.Messmer@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.