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Harris’ 21st Century Scholars bill passes House, moves to Senate

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A bill authored by State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) that would automatically enroll eligible students into the 21st Century Scholars program today passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives and moves on to the Senate.

Currently, families must fill out extensive paperwork while a child is in middle school. House Bill 1449, a piece of bipartisan legislation, would remove that barrier and create a pathway for more Hoosier children to go on to college. Harris offered the following statement upon the passage of his legislation:

“I'm very excited to see this bill move to the Senate, where I'm hopeful it will receive the same bipartisan support it did in the House. This is an opportunity for us to help Hoosier students achieve a higher education and reach their full potential, as well as an opportunity to assist Hoosiers in building generational wealth. For minority families,—especially those where a language barrier exists between parents and teachers – this legislation will make signing up for this important program completely hassle-free and put more Hoosier children on a path to success.

“We know that children enrolled in the 21st Century Scholars program are more likely to graduate high school and move on to college. Anything we can do to help students who want a college education achieve one should be our priority. Not only would this help individual students, it would help enhance Indiana's workforce and economy. I'm proud to be continuing the work that Gov. Evan Bayh started by enacting the 21st Century Scholars program, and I'm urging my colleagues in the Senate to get this bill to Gov. Holcomb's desk.”

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