Hi, friend!

It was another busy week at the Statehouse as we wrapped up our first month of the 2023 legislative session! More education bills passed through their respective committees this week. Two bills in particular, that were part of Governor Holcomb's top legislative priorities, saw some action this week including a bill on student enrollment in the Twenty First Century Scholars Program along with a bill to fund Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. 

On Monday, MCCOY staff members enjoyed attending the LGBTQ Day at the Statehouse. We were excited to see so many partners there, especially those sharing their work to support LGBTQ youth in Indiana. 

Read on for more information from this week at the Statehouse and have a great weekend!


Indiana Public Health Assoc. Student Advisory Group

Applications are open to join the IPHA Student Advisory Group (SAG) 2023-2024 cohort!   

The SAG serves as a key liaison between IPHA leadership and Indiana student stakeholders. Join us to serve as a voice for student needs and guide IPHA’s efforts to provide students with meaningful engagement opportunities!  

Applications are due by Friday, February 17. 

Learn more about the Student Advisory Group here.


Advocacy Update and Training!

Join MCCOY's Public Policy and Advocacy Director, Sarah Kumfer, for an Advocacy Power Hour. She will cover some of the hot topics that the Indiana General Assembly is addressing this session along with ways on how you can take action and encourage those in your network to do the same!

  • When: Friday, February 10, 11:00AM-Noon
  • Where: Zoom

21st Century Scholars Program

On Wednesday, HB 1449, "Twenty-First Century Scholars Program," passed 11-0 out of the House Education Committee. This bill requires the commission for higher education to notify eligible students who qualify for enrollment in the twenty-first century scholars program. Currently, about half of eligible students do not apply for the program on time and miss out on the opportunity to have their college expenses covered. Enrollment in the 21st Century Scholars program would help students have more educational opportunities that could change the trajectory of their adult lives. MCCOY supports any efforts to help lift children out of poverty through the power of education.  The bill will now be sent to the full House chamber for further review.

Partisan School Board Elections

Earlier this week, SB 188, "School Corporation Governing Bodies," was discussed in the Senate Elections committee. This bill would require candidates running for school board elections in Indiana to identify as a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. Republican Sen. Jack Sandlin, the author of the bill, stated it would increase transparency and give a heightened degree of responsibility to voters. School board members and education advocates throughout Indiana have expressed their opposition to this bill, stating that it will needlessly insert politics in local school decisions. MCCOY shares these concerns and opposes any attempts to make school board races partisan. 

The bill has been held by the committee chairman and no date has been set for a vote that could move the bill to the full Senate.


Undocumented Immigrant Students

SB 135, "Eligibility for Resident Tuition" received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development on Wednesday. This bill would allow undocumented immigrant students to become eligible for in-state tuition if they have attended Indiana schools for four years and either graduated or received the equivalent of a high school diploma.  Senator Blake Doriot, one of the authors of the bill, stated that given its critical need for workers, the state should help students who want to go to college. MCCOY supports this bill and is encouraged to see bipartisan support for legislation that will help undocumented immigrants seek higher education. 

The bill has been held and the committee is expected to take a vote on the bill next week.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

On Wednesday, SB 340, "Imagination Library," passed out of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development with unanimous support. If passed, this bill will provide funding for Indiana to participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, which will gift one book a month to each child in Indiana from birth until age 5. 

Everyone who testified on the bill was supportive of its passage. MCCOY supports SB340 and is eager to see this legislation pass so that all young children in Indiana have access to books so that they can not only bond while reading with their caregivers or parents, but also so that they will be better prepared to start school. 


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Advocacy Resources

We have created several resources to help you become the best advocate for children and families this legislative session. Learn about how a bill becomes a law, how to testify on a bill, how to communicate with legislators and more by clicking the link below!

MCCOY's Public Policy Agenda

Each year our public policy agenda helps guide our advocacy efforts in prioritizing issues that impact children, families, and those who serve children and families. Read our full agenda by clicking on the link below.

Contact Us

Marion County Commission on Youth, Inc.
1375 W. 16th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202

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