Daniels’ signature sets Indiana education reform in motion

April 29, 2011

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(Photo by Michael Puente/WBEZ)
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels visits Bowman Academy in Gary this year.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels got just about everything he wanted in this legislative session, at least when it comes to education. Daniels says Saturday morning he will sign the last of three key measures that made up his education agenda.

The law, SEA 1, will require schools to evaluate teachers each year, and base future employment on those evaluations. Teachers who receive marks of “improvement necessary” or “ineffective” will not receive raises.

On July 1, districts that are not locked into current union contracts will adopt merit-based pay systems. Union contracts that specify automatic increases or seniority-based pay will remain in effect, but state law will bar them from being renewed.

Daniels will be joined at his office in Indianapolis by Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, Senate Pro Tem David Long, House Speaker Brian Bosman and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

The Indiana General Assembly has already passed two other items Daniels pushed this year. Those include an expansion of Indiana charter schools, as well as a voucher program. The latter would allow parents to use public money to send their children to private schools.

Indiana lawmakers scrambled to finish the education legislation Friday, as midnight marks the end of the legislative session.