Authors: Senator Dennis Kruse, Senator Pete Miller
Co-authors: Senator Earline Rogers, Senator Lonnie Randolph
Sponsors: Representative Robert Behning
Allows grants from the safe schools fund to provide schoolwide programs to improve school climate and professional development and training in alternatives to suspension and expulsion and evidence based practices that contribute to a positive school environment. Provides that an election for a student to have legal settlement in the school corporation whose attendance area contains the residence of the student's mother or father shall be made on a yearly basis and applies throughout the school year unless the student's mother or father no longer resides within the attendance area of the school corporation. Provides that a school corporation that has adopted a policy not to accept student transfers after June 30, 2013, is not prohibited from enrolling a transfer student from an accredited nonpublic school or charter school located within the school corporation's boundaries if the school corporation has entered into an agreement to allow students of the accredited nonpublic school or charter school to transfer to the school within the school corporation. Requires the department of education (department) to develop guidelines for use by accredited teacher education institutions in preparing teachers to successfully apply classroom behavioral management strategies, including culturally responsive methods, to provide alternatives to suspension and expulsion. Removes a requirement that the department report instances of noncompliance of local salary scale requirements to the state board of education. Requires the department to allow the use of computer or digital response technology to complete a statewide, national, or international student assessment. Provides that a school corporation or school may allow a student to use computer or digital response technology to complete an assessment. Provides that a school staff member may take disciplinary action instead of suspending or expelling a student for misconduct that is not related to school safety. Requires the state board of education to develop for school counselors who hold a professional or accomplished teaching license professional development requirements or standards that emphasize improving skills and knowledge related to providing effective school counseling or guidance. Requires a school's professional development program to include separate professional development requirements for school counselors. Changes references in the Indiana Code from "guidance counselor" to "school counselor". Creates a school discipline data workgroup to study various issues related to the collection and analysis of school discipline data. Urges the legislative council to assign to the education study committee the topic of requiring 30 minutes for physical activity each school day for students and related topics.