Governor Signs Long-awaited Bill to Overhaul Adult Education

The following is an update on HB 1340 regarding adult education in Indiana:

Authors: Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) and Rep. Sheila Klinker (D-West Lafayette)
Sponsors: Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn), Sen. Carlin Yoder (R-Goshen), Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) and Sen. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City)

Summary: Moves career and technical education to the Department of the Education (DOE) and assigns oversight to the State Board of Education. Moves adult education to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and assigns oversight to the State Workforce Innovation Council (SWIC). Assigns to the SWIC responsibility for the GED diploma program and the planning and implementation of postsecondary career and technical education.

Chamber Position: Support

Status: Signed into law by Governor Mitch Daniels on April 1; effective immediately.

Update/Chamber Action: The issues addressed in this bill have been discussed, in one way or another, for most of the last decade. The specific proposals were highlighted in a set of policy recommendations commissioned in 2009 by the Indiana Chamber Foundation and adopted subsequently by a bipartisan legislative study committee. Yet, until this year, the proposal could not even get a vote in both houses. So it’s a real mark of progress that the votes this year were unanimous and that the bill was one of the first to reach the governor’s desk.

Much of the credit for this success goes to the staff at DWD. They began laying the groundwork several months ago and helped demonstrate to both legislators and adult education providers, who previously had opposed these proposals fiercely, that the overhaul would be a positive development. The Indiana Chamber is proud to have helped in raising these issues and in ushering this bill through the Legislature. We’re also looking forward to our continued work with DWD to implement this overhaul and to realize the promising opportunities to better serve Indiana’s adult learners.