The Indiana General Assembly is in session this spring, and we have been watching a few pieces of legislation at http://iga.in.gov/. These are all MOVING THROUGH THE PROCESS, but HAVE NOT PASSED at this point in time. Legislators are working on the biennial budget, and they are also considering some substantive changes that could impact students attending your schools. Remember that these bills must pass both the House and the Senate and be signed by the Governor in order to become law, so we are a long way from knowing whether or not changes will be made.
Did you know that you can read the text of the bills, see how they are moving through the process, and even watch committee and floor action virtually from your computer? You can do all of that from http://iga.in.gov/. Members of the INPEA may want to check the organization’s site for updates here: http://inpea.org/
Here are a few of the bills that we have been tracking:
HB 1001 – STATUS: Passed the House and now assigned to Senate Appropriations Committee (updated 4/5/2021). NOTE: The bill was amended to include the Education Savings Account and new Choice provisions of HB 1005, so this is important to watch closely.
This is the state’s biennial budget bill. The current version increases the cap for SGO tax credits from the current level of $16.5 to $18M starting July 1, 2021 and $19M starting July 1, 2022. The bill also amends the definition of Eligible Choice Scholarship Students (voucher students) from a household income of 200% of the federal free/reduced lunch guidelines to 225% for the 21-22 school year and 300% for any school year that starts after 6/30/22, and adds foster care as a voucher track. On the SGO side, the bill amends the definition of an Eligible Student (SGO student), stepping up the income limits to 225% and then 300% of the federal free/reduced lunch guidelines over the next two years.
HB 1005 – STATUS: Passed the House and assigned to Senate Education and Career Development Committee (updated 4/5/2021)
This proposed legislation expands the existing voucher program by raising income eligibility over the next two years to 225% and then 300% of the federal free/reduced lunch guidelines, bumps all vouchers up to the 90% level and adds a track for foster kids. It also creates a new Education Savings Account program for certain students (those with special needs, from active duty military families and children in foster care).
SB 413 – STATUS: Passed the Senate and sent to the House; referred to committee on Education (updated 4/5/2021)
This bill bumps all vouchers to the 90% tier, adds track for foster children, and fixes the sibling track (but doesn’t expand the income eligibility for voucher students).
We are fortunate to live in a state that values ALL types of schools. Stay informed so that you know how your school may be impacted!