2018 Legislative Priorities

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Workforce and Education


Employer-Driven, Sector-Specific Workforce Development: Build off of the recent work of the Indiana Career Council and the Indiana Regional Works Councils to better align state secondary education, workforce and economic development strategies to meet the current and future skills demands of regional employers

  • Employer-Sponsored Co-Ops: Supports state-based incentives to encourage businesses to employ students in an apprentice or intern capacity and provide on the job training with the final goal of permanently hiring those who have excelled

Work Opportunity Tax Credit:  Support Hoosiers entering the workforce through the creation of state tax incentive which mirrors the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit (FWOTC) program focused on ex-offenders and the long-term unemployed

  • Support incentives for government contractors who hire and retain individuals eligible for WOTC credit

Veteran Re-entry: Increase employment opportunities for returning veterans by eliminating duplicative requirements and expedite processes for military-trained personnel to obtain the equivalent civilian license

Ex-Offender Re-entry: Support policies that promote reintegrating ex-offenders into the workforce and economy by:

  • Minimize business liability and increase incentives to hire ex-offenders
  • Increase job training and skills enhancement opportunities

    • Expanding pre-release entrepreneurship education and training

  • Ensure local compliance of statewide compliance of recent expungement laws
  • Remove barriers related to housing & transportation


  • Career Pathways: Support the creation of college career pathways to ensure curriculum align with current and future skills demands and increase college completion

    • Encourage development of credit awarding workplace readiness courses to enhance experiential learning requirements for degree completion

  • Reverse Credit: Support permitting specific course credit to be transferable and reciprocal between Indiana’s accredited two-year schools and other state-supported colleges and universities to encourage post-secondary certification and degree attainment statewide
  • Return and Complete: Support the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s Return and Complete efforts to reengage the 737,000 Hoosiers with some college credit but no degree
  • STEM: Explore the creation of incentives to retain recent STEM-degreed individuals committed to remaining in-state for five years
  • 21st Century Scholars: Enhance outreach and wraparound services and evaluate sustainable funding mechanisms for programs, such as the 21st Century Scholars program, in order to increase access to and completion rates at two- and four-year colleges and universities for those with financial need

Immigration Reform: Encourage federal leadership on comprehensive immigration reform. Restore eligibility for in-state tuition and financial aid to state colleges and universities for foreign born students who have matriculated through the Indiana K-12 system


STEM: Support the continued work of the Indiana Department of Education to assess the qualitative and quantitative capacity of STEM instruction and empower a public body comprised of k-12 practitioners, higher education and workforce development professionals and private industry experts to implement the finding of the STEM assessment

  • Explore the creation of incentives to retain recent STEM-degreed individuals committed to remaining in-state for five years

High School Career Counselors:

  • Decrease the student-to-counselor ratio, require regular professional development for school counselors and ensure academic coursework align with students’ desired career pathways
  • Explore modification of counselor licensure to differentiate career counseling from social/emotional counseling
  • Require school counselors to advise students in middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grades) of their eligibility to enroll in various state financial aid programs

Autonomy: Provide school districts flexibility to pay teachers based on high need and specialized subject matter areas. Empower local education officials to make administrative and structural decisions affecting individual school performance, including the option to extend school hours, merit pay options, providing voluntary alternative retirement benefits options such as defined contribution plans for new teachers

Charter Authority: Expand the authority of the Mayor of Indianapolis to charter Pre-K educational institutions and require local public hearings for the re-chartering of schools attempting to switch charter authorizers after a charter has been revoked

Financial Literacy: Promote financial literacy education through existing k-12 curriculum requirements and encourage the DOE to develop sample curriculum for local schools to implement

School Funding: Support the inclusion of the second count date for the k-12 funding formula to ensure schools are able to adequately accommodate changing student populations throughout the school year

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