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House GOP leader wants to 'reinvent' high school in upcoming legislative session

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston speaks to reporters in a hallway of the Statehouse. The image is a closeup of Huston, who is a White man with dark, graying hair.
Alan Mbathi
/
IPB News
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said comprehensive changes to high school education could include providing more options for classes – like, instead of calculus, teaching personal finance.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said his caucus wants to “reinvent high school” to make it more relevant for the 21st century economy.

Legislative leaders discussed the upcoming session at an Indiana Chamber of Commerce event Monday.

Huston said comprehensive changes to high school education could include providing more options for classes – like, instead of calculus, teaching personal finance. He said he’ll also push the business community to provide more work-based learning opportunities.

“You can’t tell us how important this is and not give opportunities for high school kids and college kids to come into your companies to do internships, to have opportunities to see what’s taking place,” Huston said.

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Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said the state needs to incentivize education after high school – whether that’s college or job training and certification.

“But we still have yet to address the issue and the fact that our children continue to lag the rest of the country when it comes to educational attainment,” Taylor said.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce's legislative priorities include two proposals to increase postsecondary attainment. One would automatically enroll every eligible Hoosier student in the 21st Century Scholars program. The other would create a "diploma plus" that allows students to earn a postsecondary job credential along with their high school diploma.

The session begins in January.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.