Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

January 13, 2012

School bills advancing


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The salary information of school superintendents is posted on the Indiana Department of Education Web site. But the DOE  doesn't require school boards to report the monetary value of benefits and perks, which range widely, from cell phone allowances to cash payments for the full cost of health insurance.  

The legislation, one of three bills approved by a House committee Wednesday, will move to the full House for a vote.

Legislation that would establish a "parent trigger" to convert poorly performing schools into charter schools was also sent to the full House. The bill, authored by state Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, a Corydon Republican and retired school teacher, would give parents the right to vote to make the switch. More than half the parents would need to approve the change and only schools that have failed to meet state standards for four years in a row would be eligible. 

The third education bill sent to the full House is known as the "credit creep" bill. It gives the Indiana Commission on Higher Education the authority to terminate university degree programs that exceed a standard number of credit hours.

Commissioner Teresa Lubbers told committee members that 90 percent of degrees in Indiana require students to take more credit hours than what they can earn in four years of college for a bachelor's degree or two years for an associate degree.

The "credit creep" bill was mentioned by Gov. Mitch Daniels as one of his top legislative priorities in his State of the State speech Tuesday.

Maureen Hayden is the Statehouse bureau chief for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana.

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