What Are Lawmakers Saying About Education Policy Next Year? 'Less Is Best'

Dec 11, 2019

With the legislative session weeks away, state lawmakers and the governor are talking more about their plans and priorities for 2020.

Education policy has been getting a lot of attention lately, but lawmakers say the upcoming legislative session should be a quiet one – for the most part. Senate Education and Career Development Committee Chair Jeff Raatz (R-Centerville) says, with a short session, there just isn’t time to get to everything.

“From an overall perspective I’d say this year would be less is best,” he says. 

House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) says he and other legislative leaders agree with that idea, and have had conversations about limiting new policies coming from the statehouse. 

“The speaker in his speech on organization day mentioned that he would like to provide as few regulations for schools as possible.”

Lawmakers, and the governor, say they also want to take a closer look at how to streamline or reduce the number of unfunded mandates and repetitive teacher trainings.

Other items that are on the table include school accountability, in part, for virtual schools, as well as plans to hold schools harmless for a drop in state test scores.

Behning says the state’s education governance structure will be discussed, and how to send more money to schools without opening the state budget. 

The session starts Jan. 6.

Contact Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.