Representatives of Family Voices attended the Article 7 public hearing in Indianapolis. The State Board of Education was in attendance and heard approximately 2 1/2 hours of public testimony. Family Voices thanks its membership for attending and speaking at the public hearings.
The DOE is still gathering input on the revisions through the DOE website at:http://www.doe.in.gov/exceptional/article7/welcome.html They will continue to accept input until May 23rd. It will then proceed as follows:
June 4, 2008: The State Board of Education will vote to approve the proposed rules. June 5, 2008: If the State Board of Education approves the rules, the rules will be submitted to the Attorney General's Office. This office has 45 days to review the rule.
July 21, 2008: If the Attorney General's Office approves the rules, the rules go to the Governor's Office. The Governor has 15 days to review the rule and can have a 15 day extension. August 21, 2008: If the Governor approves the rules, the rules can be filed with the Legislative Services Agency. September 21, 2008: Rules will go into effect (30 days after filing with the Legislative Services Agency). NOTE: The timeline could be shortened if Article 7 is approved in less time than the maximum allowable days. For example, if the Attorney General and the Governor each took one week to approve the rules, the rules would go into effect on July 19, 2008
It is important to understand the timeline and process if you wish to further advocate on issues related to the proposed changes. For example, at this point the State Board is the decision making body, and should receive your input. After their decision, it is important to note that the Attorney General’s offices role is only to ensure that the proposed rules meet legal compliance; so advocacy is likely not effective at that stage. However, it is within the Governor's power to reject the proposed changes; so you could direct your advocacy efforts to his office.
Outside of litigation, these are the final opportunities to alter the proposed language before it becomes law. The FV Position Paper and discussion of the major proposals can be found at http://www.fvindiana.blogspot.com