With students and
educators heading back to the classroom, State Rep. Ed Soliday,
R-Valparaiso, is reminding folks that many new laws impact local school
“As the needs of
our schools change, lawmakers must consider new ways to help students and
teachers,” Soliday said in a statement released today.. “This past session,
we worked hard on new laws to provide them with the tools and resources they
need to be successful in the classroom.”
Soliday said in
particular that new laws which have taken effect do the following:
employability skills: “A new law ensures schools include courses on
employability skills or soft skills, like following directions and showing
up on time, to help better prepare students for the workforce,” the
statement said, while Soliday noted that strengthening time-management and
problem-solving skills will make students more employable and prepared for
life after high school (Senate Enrolled Act 297).
* Enhance computer
skills: “A new law ensures all K-12 public schools offer computer science
classes,” the statement said. According to Soliday, these skills are in high
demand and critical to filling current and future job openings. The Next
Level Computer Science Grant Program will help local schools train teachers
to instruct the courses (SEA 172).
student-athletes: “A new law establishes a certified coaching education
course on how to prevent and respond to heat-related medical issues,” the
statement said. “School and intramural sports coaches for students in grades
5-12 will undergo training to recognize, prevent and respond to signs of
heat exhaustion” (House Enrolled Act 1024).
* Prevent suicide
deaths: “A new law works to decrease suicide rates by updating awareness
programs for educators, health care providers and emergency medical
technicians,” the statement said. “Already required to receive at least two
hours of training on suicide awareness and prevention, this law specifies
this annual training must be recommended by the Indiana Suicide Prevention
Network Advisory Council (SEA 230).
* Support foster
youth: “A new law tasks the Department of Education, the Department of Child
Services, and the State Board of Education with preparing an annual report
on the educational outcomes of students in foster care,” the statement said.
“Nationally, 56 percent of children in foster care graduate from high
school, and only 3 percent graduate from college. The state is working to
develop tools to help foster care students succeed” (HEA 1314).
* Prioritize STEM
education: “A new law creates an optional elementary school teacher content
area license, aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in
elementary school students,” the statement said. “Educators with a passion
to teach STEM subjects will be able to actively engage young students and
prepare them for high-level courses in their academic careers (HEA 1399).
Visit iga.in.gov to
learn more about these and other state laws that recently went into effect.