Indiana parents and educators, there are some important new laws taking effect July 1 that will impact schools across the state.

Why July and Not January?

The law-making process is generally a lengthy one, and a lot of bills don't make it through that process. The fiscal year begins in July, so that is why the new laws go into effect so far into the year. Recently, Indiana's Governor Eric Holcomb put his signature on 67 new bills that will become official laws on July 1, 2024.

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Third Grade Retention and Early Literacy

  • Third graders who don't pass the IREAD-3 reading assessment may be held back starting in the 2024-25 school year. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Additional testing and summer school programs will be available for younger students who are identified as falling behind in reading skills.
photo: canva phone ban
photo: canva phone ban

Cell Phone Use in Schools

  • Indiana K-12 schools are now required to implement a ban on cell phones, tablets, and other personal devices during class time. Exceptions are allowed for educational purposes or emergencies.

As a parent of a high school student, I feel like it is important for him to have his cell phone at school. He doesn't use it during class, but it is a distraction when other students have their phones out.

Religious Instruction during School Day

  • Schools must now allow students to attend religious instruction off-campus if parents submit a formal request to the principal. Specific times and logistics will be determined by the school in collaboration with the religious organization.

These new laws aim to improve reading proficiency, manage classroom distractions, and accommodate students' religious practices.

Source: IN.GOV Bill Watch 2024

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