Teachers play an integral part in our education system, and this year, the Indiana General Assembly continued our efforts to support Hoosier educators.

We passed a budget that increases the appropriation for Teacher Appreciation Grants to $75 million, passed House Enrolled Act 1002, which requires the State Board of Education to replace Indiana’s current teacher licensure exams with widely used national exams, and increased overall K-12 spending by $763 million.

Recognizing the importance of recruiting and retaining great teachers, the Indiana General Assembly created the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship in 2016. Each year, this program provides up to 200 aspiring Hoosier teachers with scholarships worth up to $30,000.

Recipients will receive $7,500 each year of college in return for committing to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating.

To qualify for the scholarship, students have to graduate in the highest 20% of their high school class or score in the top 20th percentile on the SAT or ACT.

Interested students should apply by Nov. 30 at ScholarTrack.IN.gov.

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THE INDIANA Department of Education recently shared a new report that highlights Indiana as a national leader in computer science education.

According to IDOE, the 2019 report lays out several examples of Indiana’s commitment to computer science education, including the development of a comprehensive plan, changes in our teacher certification requirements, and the allocation of $3 million per year for computer science professional development from the 2019 state budget.

The state has also funded training for more than 1,000 K-12 educators in computer science since 2018, while continuing to expand professional development opportunities.

Improving Indiana’s educational opportunities has been one of our top priorities for many years, and in 2018, the General Assembly passed Senate Enrolled Act 172, which requires each high school in Indiana to offer a computer science class to students by 2021.

Expanding knowledge of computer science is an important part of Indiana's efforts to help prepare young Hoosiers for in-demand careers.

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THE UNEMPLOYMENT rate is the lowest since 2018. Indiana’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in August. At this rate, we continue to outrank our neighboring states, with Michigan at 4.2 percent, Illinois at 4 percent, Ohio at 4.1 percent and Kentucky at 4.4 percent.

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SENATE INTERNSHIP applications deadline is approaching.

The deadline for applications for the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus internship program is quickly approaching. College students, recent college graduates and graduate students looking for a spring-semester internship during the 2020 legislative session are encouraged to apply.

Internships are full-time, paid positions that run from the end of December 2019 through
mid-March 2020. Applications are due by Oct. 31.

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HUNTING SEASONS are beginning already. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources  announced that several hunting seasons have begun:

  • Snipe: Sept. 1 – Dec. 16
  • Sora: Sept. 1 – Nov. 9
  • Dove: Sept. 1 – Oct. 20
  • Deer (reduction zones): Sept. 15 – Jan. 31, 2020
  • Deer (archery): Oct. 1 – Jan. 5, 2020