Lawmakers are asking the Indiana Department of Education to assist in the streamlining of mandated training for teachers.
The Interim Study Committee on Education met this week to discuss House Enrolled Act 1400, which was enacted by the General Assembly during the last session to look at a range of education-related topics. The subject of Tuesday’s session was teacher training and how to streamline mandates on school districts.
Robin LeClaire, the director of school improvement for the Department of Education, offered ways that the training could be streamlined. Teachers are required to take various trainings such as suicide prevention, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, child abuse and neglect, and bullying to maintain their certifications.
LeClaire suggested that one way to streamline demands on schools and teachers would be to give schools the option of choosing when and where they could do the different trainings. By doing this, it would give the schools an option on what LeClaire called the “who, what, when, where, and why” for training.
LeClaire also suggested that the Department of Education would be able to send a survey to Hoosier teachers asking their opinion on how to better adjust the trainings.
“We need to make sure they are school-need driven, that we don’t have them just as mandates and things to check of the checklist to be done,” LeClaire said. “We want them to be meaningful,” she told the committee on Tuesday.
Sen. Eddie Melton, D-Gary, said he liked the idea of the survey because he wanted to hear the voice of the local perspective, teachers.
Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, agreed with Melton on the uses of the survey, but also wants the DOE to take charge of finding different ways to streamline the mandated trainings so that lawmakers could focus on other issues in education, like the current virtual school problem and teacher pay.
“I am trying to push in these committees to deal with wasted money in virtual schools and testing crisis and teacher pay, and I am not dealing with that,” DeLaney said. “Because I am being asked to decide what cycle somebody gets cardio pulmonary training. So I’m hoping someday, somehow we shove that responsibility to where it belongs.”
DeLaney was referring to the troubled Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, both of which have been closed following allegations they overstated enrollments and collected $40 million in state funding they weren’t entitled to receive. He and other Democratic lawmakers have asked the committee to examine the virtual school issue, but House and Senate leaders have declined to include it.
The committee will meet again Oct. 1 in the House of Representative’s chambers.
Brandon Barger is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.