(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Two bills with a large impact on Indiana’s teachers passed the state Senate Wednesday.
Senate Bill 575 received 30-19 support with all Democrats and six Republicans going against it. The legislation would take away the right for teachers unions to negotiate some rules.
Unions would still be able to argue for their wages and benefits, but administrators would be given more power on hiring and dismissing teachers.
Senate Bill 1 also passed by a 31-19 vote. It seeks to make teacher’s compensation merit-based on a new evaluation system using student test scores.
Both bills - which are part of Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett’s education reform agenda - now head to the House.
“Indiana’s educators deserve respect and gratitude for dedicating their lives to preparing children for success,” Bennett said after the bills passed Wednesday. “They are not the problem in our current system of schools. On the other hand, the organizations that represent them too often are purely focused on protecting and advancing adult interests. This session, we have an historic opportunity to drive dramatic improvements in our schools. These organizations could and should be incredible partners in crafting and forwarding these reforms. Instead, they continue to fight against any change and seek only to defend the ineffective status quo.”
“Once again, I am encouraged by our lawmakers’ resolve to advance these much-needed proposals despite vocal minority opposition. If we are able to maintain this momentum, Indiana will emerge from this legislative session as the nation’s leader in education reforms that put students at the center of every decision,” he added.