News Releases

Sens. Banks, Kruse Propose Higher Education Reform

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 5, 2013) – State Sens. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) and Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) held a press conference today announcing an unprecedented meeting of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development focused solely on higher education issues.

“We have never seen this many higher education bills come through the committee at one time,” said Kruse, chairman of the committee. “We chose to dedicate this Wednesday’s meeting to hear testimony on these bills and begin the process of turning some of them into law. I expect this issue will generate much discussion on both sides of the aisle.”

Kruse said the agenda includes the following legislation:

  • Senate Bill 98 – Expands the autonomy and independence of regional college campuses.
  • Senate Bill 177 – Gives resident tuition rates for undergraduate courses to qualified veterans.
  • Senate Bill 180 – Improves transparency in higher education grading and hiring practices.
  • Senate Bill 182 – Enhances credit transferability among different types of degrees.
  • Senate Bill 209 – Establishes graduate degree programs at Indiana University Purdue University – Fort Wayne that will be targeted toward high-impact industries for northeast Indiana.
  • Senate Bill 402 – Creates the Principal Leadership Academy within Indiana State University to strengthen leadership and management skills for current Indiana public school principals.
  • Senate Bill 406 – Establishes a streamlined program for administering college-level classes to high school students for dual credit.
  • Senate Bill 409 – Increases accountability for issuing teacher’s licenses by requiring education departments of colleges to issue them instead of the Department of Education.

“Currently, only 36 percent of young Hoosiers have a college degree, and that has remained unchanged since 1960,” Banks said. “Senator Kruse and I have drafted legislation in order to combat this problem, which can only be done by lowering costs, improving administration accountability and providing more credit transfer opportunities.”

The Senate Committee on Education and Career Development will hear this legislation at its meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Chamber.