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Indiana DOE Announces 2019 Legislative Priorities
INDIANAPOLIS – Student Learning, School Improvement, and Operational Effectiveness highlight the 2019 Indiana Department of Education’s legislative priorities released by Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Jennifer McCormick.
Part of the process of developing the legislative priorities included a review of the Department’s work since January 2017. The Department created a cross-walk between the IDOE’s Strategic Plan and the five pillars of Indiana’s NextLevel agenda. The Department has accomplished a great deal in under two years, yet there is more work to be done, as evidenced by today’s release of the 2019 Legislative Priorities.
“The foundation of this work is to create a rich, innovative, and immersive educational environment that empowers our students to be successful, lifelong learners,” said Dr. McCormick. “Our 2019 Legislative Priorities are the result of meeting with hundreds of Hoosiers over the last 21 months. During this time, I met with hardworking and dedicated educators, partners, governmental offices, students, parents, and community members. The plethora of information shared reflects our desire to ensure children have the opportunities and skills to achieve their full potential.”
Strategic Priority One focuses on Student Learning. Providing children an early opportunity to learn while ensuring all K-12 students are provided an inclusive environment is pivotal to the well-being of children and Indiana’s success. Dr. McCormick will also advocate for teacher-mentor pay, licensure flexibility, greater license reciprocity, and a continuation of the Indiana’s Teacher Appreciation Grant (TAG) in support of attracting and retaining our educators. Lastly, STEM and innovative high school models, such as, Pathways - Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) will be of focus.
Dr. McCormick has set School Improvement as Strategic Priority Two. School safety will continue to receive the attention it deserves. Revenue funds and operations surrounding school safety are at the top of the agenda for Dr. McCormick. In this same space, IHSAA coaching certification, drug-free school support, and child abuse prevention education will get attention. Priority Two will also include working to ensure Indiana’s accountability systems conform into a single system, thus, embracing transparency, clarity, and inclusiveness. Dr. McCormick will champion for charter school quality by holding authorizers accountable, both fiscally and academically. An aligned assessment system will also live in this area. In an effort to further reduce testing time and align PK-12 efforts, assessment will once again be a part of the legislative discussion.
Providing essential support to individual districts is key to success, thus, Dr. McCormick’s Strategic Priority Three is Operational Effectiveness. This objective focuses on an increase in funding. Basic tuition support, English Learners, curricular reimbursement, special education Pre-K, and assessment will all be elevated. In addition, the topic of school Medicaid reimbursement will be of focus. “As evidenced in districts across the State, adequate resources are essential to developing highly successful and prepared students, taught by effective educators, and supported by equipped schools in engaged communities,” said Dr. McCormick.
Dr. McCormick and her staff will work closely with the 2019 Indiana General Assembly to implement each of these legislative priorities.