Governor to Review Bill on Teacher Training

Legislation, Teachers & Principals | 04/12/2017

Justin Ohlemiller
Executive Director

Justin Ohlemiller is the executive director of Stand for Children Indiana.

Bill calling for new approach to teacher training and mentoring support is headed to Governor’s desk

INDIANAPOLIS – After passing both the Indiana House and Senate with no opposition, a bill that creates two new programs focused on teacher preparation and mentoring support will be headed to the desk of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.

House Enrolled Act No. 1449 focuses on providing more intensive, real-world training for those studying to become educators, as well as assisting schools and districts in creating mentorships and induction support for new teachers, principals and administrators. The bill specifically:

  • Establishes a teacher residency pilot program. This new approach to educator preparation combines challenging classroom studies with an apprenticeship offering the teacher candidate a year or more of practicing the profession under the guidance of an experienced, highly-qualified teacher. The model is similar to medical residencies, where aspiring doctors spend time training under the supervision of an experienced physician.
  • Establishes the new educator induction program. This program calls for grant funding to aid districts and schools in establishing mentorships and other professional supports for new teachers and principals. By pairing new teachers with highly-qualified mentors early in their career, these induction programs should bolster early-career professional development and help schools retain great teachers.
  • Supports career pathways for teachers. The bill expands opportunities for districts and schools to apply for grant funds to implement career pathways for teachers. Unlike most professions, there are limited options for teachers to move up a career ladder. Many have to leave the classroom to become an administrator to gain more pay and leadership opportunities. Career pathways for teachers offer leadership roles that keep great teachers in the classroom while also giving them more pay and additional responsibilities coaching other teachers.   

Stand for Children Indiana and Teach Plus worked collaboratively to support HEA 1449.

“We want to thank Rep. DeVon and all of the co-authors for their leadership,” said Stand Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller. “The parents we work with every day tell us how important a great teacher is to the academic growth of their child. We need more resources invested in both training and retaining great teachers in our classrooms, and that’s exactly what this bill attempts to do.”

Educators from Teach Plus Indiana, including John Gensic, spoke out in favor of the bill this legislative session.

"Connecting new teachers with experienced mentors is essential to their growth in the profession.  HEA 1449 would improve teacher induction through more teacher input into the process of mentoring new teachers and the development of a district's mentoring plan," said Gensic, a 9th and 10th grade biology teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka and a Teach Plus Indiana Teaching Policy Fellow.   

The next stop for HEA 1449 is the desk of Governor Holcomb. 

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