For immediate release:
Feb. 2, 2016
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana House members have overwhelmingly passed legislation authored by State Rep. Donna J. Harris (D-East Chicago) aimed at increasing the numbers of minority students across the state who want to get into education as a career.
By a 93-0 margin, representatives approved House Bill 1179, which enables minority graduate students who participate in a school administration internship program to be eligible for an amount of money through the state’s Minority Student Teaching Stipend Fund. The legislation now advances to the Indiana Senate for consideration.
“The Minority Student Teaching Stipend Fund already is available to those folks who participate in student teaching as part of their degree requirements,” Harris said. “House Bill 1179 simply allows those minority students who are looking into careers in school administration to qualify for the same stipend.”
Students who qualify for the stipend can receive up to $5,000 if they have a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.0, and up to $4,000 for a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5. Nearly 50 students already receive stipends through the program.
The program still would give preference to aspiring teachers, but it expands the scope of eligibility,” Harris noted.
“This legislation reflects a growing trend to get more minorities involved in education,” she continued. “I know that most of the attention in this area revolves around teaching, but I believe it is equally as important to get minorities involved in the administration and operation of schools and school corporations. House Bill 1179 offers a chance to encourage pursuit of school administration as a career. I am pleased my colleagues in the House have seen fit to support this bill.”
House Bill 1179 was co-authored by State Reps. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary), Kathy Richardson (R-Noblesville), and Dale DeVon (R-Granger). It will be sponsored in the Indiana Senate by Sens. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) and Earline Rogers (D-Gary).