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May 12, 2013

New law shifts remediation from college to high school

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

Students who need to take remedial classes in college run a higher risk of dropping out, in part because they can’t afford to keep going when their money, college loans, or scholarships run out. 

A 2011 study by Complete College America found that among two-year college students who enter needing remedial classes, just 9.2 percent will earn an associate degree in three years. Among four-year college students needing remediation, only 27.3 percent earn a bachelor’s degree within six years.

“The statistics are staggering,” Behning said. “This helps us identify students who need the extra help early, before they leave high school.” 

The remediation bill was one of several major education bills that Pence has signed into law. Several others: 

•  Voucher Expansion. The new law will expand state’s private-school voucher program for low-income families to include children living in the districts of failing public schools and to siblings of current voucher students. Currently, children have to spend at least one year in a public school to be eligible for a voucher. Opponents of the new law say the voucher expansion will hurt public schools by draining state funds away from them. About 9,100 Indiana students currently receive vouchers in the second school year of one of the nation’s largest voucher programs.The new law also allows voucher recipients to continue receiving them if their family incomes rise above the base income threshold, a sliding scale that includes $65,352 for a family of four. And it also increases voucher caps from $4,500 to $4,700 next year and $4,800 the following year. 

• Common Core Review : The Indiana State Board of Education’s decision in 2010 to join 45 other states in adopting a national set of education guidelines known as the Common Core State Standards will come under review this summer, due to House Enrolled Act 1427. The new law calls for a legislative review, public hearings and a fiscal analysis of the Common Core. The law doesn’t stop the implementation of the Common Core standards, but it does put it on pause. The new law requires the State Board of Education to make final decision before July 1, 2014, on whether to proceed with Common Core. 

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