State Senator Eric Bassler Statehouse Update

Supporting Hoosier Teachers

Teachers play an integral role in our community and state by helping prepare our kids for success. While teacher pay is set by local school boards, this session, the Senate is considering several measures to support Indiana teachers and teaching candidates.

One proposal would increase Indiana’s school-supply tax credit for teachers from $100 to $500. Expanding this credit is projected to save Hoosier teachers $6 million to $15 million a year.

Another proposed effort would streamline our current patchwork system of training requirements for school employees by requiring trainings on topics such as bullying prevention and gang activity to be offered on a multi-year cycle, with teachers completing one each year.

An additional measure would require the State Board of Education to replace Indiana’s current teacher licensing exams, which have high failure rates, with new nationally administered teacher licensing exams. This change would remove an obstacle that has prevented qualified teaching candidates from entering the profession.

Finally, senators are working on giving school corporations more flexibility in setting teacher pay by removing the current cap on how much teachers’ years of experience and academic degrees can impact potential raises.

At the Statehouse, we know how critical good teachers are to the future of our state, and these bills respond to concerns brought forth by Hoosier educators.

To stay up to date on legislation supporting teachers in our state, click here.


College-bound students and their families can get help filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Feb. 24 during College Goal Sunday.

Financial aid experts will be available at 39 locations across Indiana at 2 p.m. local time.

Students should attend College Goal Sunday with their parents or guardians and bring completed 2017 IRS 1040 tax returns, W-2 forms and other 2017 income and benefits information. Students 24 years of age or older can attend alone and bring their own forms and information.

Families are also encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs at before attending the event.

The deadline to file the FAFSA is April 15.

For more information on College Goal Sunday or to find an event near you, click here.

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month, and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) advises Hoosiers to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

The ISDH encourages people to watch their weight, quit smoking and get active to help lower their risk of developing the disease.

Click here for more information on cardiovascular health.

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