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New laws aid students and teachers

By Rep. David Ober

Think of a particular teacher who made a difference in your life. Although many left a lasting impression on me, I will never forget the positive impact that Mrs. Bitting’s instruction had on my life. A former teacher at Central Noble High School, Mrs. Bitting worked diligently to prepare her students to succeed in life. She was attentive to the individual needs of students and eagerly worked to address them. She served as a role-model in and out of the classroom, working also as a track coach, and constantly encouraged students to realize their potential.

Mrs. Bitting understood that preparing students for the future is vitally important to their success. House Enrolled Act 1005 was a bill I supported that works to ensure that students are well-equipped to enter college or the workforce as they leave high school. Identifying the needs of students early in their high school career, particularly those struggling with math and English, will provide personalized attention to better prepare them to succeed in the next chapter of their life.

Another education reform measure I supported was Senate Enrolled Act 1. Authored in response to the recent school tragedies, this new law authorizes the state to provide $10 million in funding for schools that are considering hiring and training a school resource officer, conducting a threat assessment or investing in safety equipment.

I co-authored HEA 1560 which works to improve the lives of our instructors. Before this new law, teachers had to invest in a retirement plan approved by their school corporation, and if they closed contributions to a particular vendor, teachers were required to roll their accrued funds into another approved plan. HEA 1560 allows teachers like Mrs. Bitting and other school employees to invest with an IRA type fund, outside the school corporation’s approved list, allowing for greater personal investment freedom to take place.

Mrs. Bitting is just one of many Hoosier teachers that are committed to the success of their students, and we need to do everything we can to recognize the important role that they play in our communities. Although Mrs. Bitting came to my mind as a teacher who inspired me to achieve, everyone has an inspiring figure in their lives. We can secure Indiana’s future by continuing to enact smart education policies, benefiting teachers and students alike.

You can find additional information on the laws I mentioned today by visiting in.gov/legislative. If you have any concerns or questions regarding these new bills, I am available via email ath82@iga.in.gov or by phone at 317-232-9643.

State Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, represents all of Noble County and portions of Allen, Elkhart, LaGrange and Whitley counties