March 4, 2014

 

There were a barrage of amendments offered on HB 1321 as it passed off of 2nd reading.

 

HB 1321 is special legislation applicable only to the Indianapolis Public Schools.  At its core, the bill enables the IPS school board to:

  1. enter into cooperative agreements with charter schools to fill unused building space in exchange for IPS being able to count these students as IPS students for purposes of school funding; and
  2. establish reconstituted existing schools as “innovation network schools” that are managed by entities (either companies or teachers).

The advocates for HB 1321 included various legislative leaders, the mayor of Indianapolis, the Governor, the IPS school board, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and newly-hired IPS superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee.

 

Two amendments passed: 

 

  1. an amendment that represents some agreements between the proponents and ISTA/IEA including protecting any schools in IPS that are A or B schools, that only D/F schools for 3 consecutive years are “eligible schools” for purposes of reconstitution, caps on the number of schools in the first year of implementation, a commitment to supports for teachers wishing to start schools, grounds for termination.  The bill also currently permits teachers to organize under the bargaining laws of the state.
  2. an amendment making consistent teacher evaluations in these schools.

Additionally, a memorandum of understanding covering additional issues is being negotiated between IPS and IEA/ISTA.

 

The following other amendments were offered by Democrat Senators John Broden and Greg Taylor—all of which did not pass but each of which was offered with great passion and rationale.  ISTA thanks these Senators for their attempts.

 

  1. An amendment to restore “nonprofit” into the bill to ensure only nonprofit entities qualify as school managers.  
  2. An amendment to reflect an earlier set of negotiations in which Sen. Taylor participated--which included several provisions.
  3. An amendment to enable IPS teachers to remain in their bargaining unit despite being in a school that has been reconstituted.
  4. An amendment to specifically ensure that transportation will be provided.
  5. An amendment to increase the number of community meetings by the school from 2 to 4 in a year.
  6. An amendment to require the entity that manages the school to disclose certain financial information and to have the department of education maintain a webpage on its website detailing this information.

ISTA will post a more detailed analysis of who voted for and against these amendments in an upcoming blog when the finalized roll call tallies are available.

 

In the meantime, please contact both your State Representative and State Senator to urge continued work on HB 1321 during conference committee.