So what does the bill do now? It’s still more than 275 pages long and makes many changes. Among them, the bill would:
- Create a new seven-member statewide committee appointed by state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, the Indiana State Board of Education and groups representing superintendents, principals, private schools and charter schools to review all reporting requirements for schools and recommend changes to reduce them by Dec. 1.
- Reduce the fees that can be charged for requested searches of public records. But it also adds a new exemption to the state’s requirements for public board meetings to be open to the public. That change would allow school boards to hold two out-of-town training sessions in private each year.
- Eliminate outdated rules around purchasing and management of school buildings.
- Make contracts for bus drivers optional rather than mandatory.
- Drop some limitations on employee health care plans.
- Give schools some added flexibility when they contract with outside companies for busing.
- Eliminate the required recognition of Arbor Day each April.
- Assign a series of remaining questions about school regulations to a summer study committee.