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Governor Pence Signs Bill To Replace ISTEP
Updated March 23, 2016 6:32 AM | Filed under: Education
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Mike Pence Tuesday joined teachers and students at Eagle Elementary School in Zionsville to sign House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1395, which eliminates the ISTEP test, effective July 1, 2017.

The bill, which was authored by Rep. Bob Behning (R - Indianapolis), also establishes a 23-member panel to study alternatives to ISTEP, and requires that members are appointed by May 1, 2016. The panel includes the Superintendent of Public Instruction and her four appointees, the Commissioner of Workforce Development, the Commissioner of Higher Education, the Chairperson of the Senate Education & Career Development Committee, the Chairperson of the House Education Committee, a member of the State Board of Education, five Governor's appointments, four President Pro Tempore appointments and four Speaker of the House appointments.

"By signing House Enrolled Act 1395, we're taking the first step toward eliminating ISTEP and ensuring that multiple perspectives are considered as Indiana develops its next iteration of assessment and accountability of our schools," said Governor Pence. "I'm also grateful to sign into law bills that will help ensure students in Indiana receive an excellent education in a safe and nurturing environment, and that working teachers who take in additional responsibilities may receive recognition and compensation for their efforts."

HEA 1002 - This bill, authored by Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R - Indianapolis), establishes the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship Fund, which offers $7,500 scholarships to eligible candidates in the academic year beginning after June 30, 2017.

HEA 1005 - This bill, authored by Rep. Dale DeVon (R - Granger), establishes the Career Pathways and Mentorship Program to provide for, in addition to base salary and other applicable supplements, differentiated pay for qualified teachers based on demonstrated effectiveness and additional responsibilities in advanced roles. In addition to several education items, this bill requires schools to disclose any knowledge of substantiated abuse or neglect incidents regarding a teacher.

In January, Governor Pence signed two education agenda bills in the rotunda of the Indiana Statehouse focused on supporting teachers and schools. The first, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 200, authored by Sen. Dennis Kruse (R - Auburn), Sen. Luke Kenley (R - Noblesville), and Sen. Ryan Mishler (R - Bremen), holds schools harmless for their A-F accountability grade for the 2014-2015 year to accommodate the transition to more rigorous academic standards. The second, House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1003, authored by Rep. Robert Behning (R - Indianapolis), ensures that teacher bonuses and evaluations are not negatively impacted by the transition to a new test this year.

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