12/11 Torchbearer Weekly Policy Update
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- Judge Finds Primary Law Unconstitutional
- Hoosier Students to Receive $2 Billion in Debt Forgiveness
- U.S. Math Scores Plunge
- Births Barely Keep Up With Deaths
- How The Delayed FAFSA Is Impacting A New Mandate For Indiana Students
- Share the Torchbearer Newsletter with Your Network!
- Important Dates
Let’s dive in.
Judge Finds Primary Law Unconstitutional
What’s new: A candidate for Congress won an injunction from a Marion County court late Thursday after the judge found a state law limitng who can run on a primary ballot is unconstitutional.
He also simultaneously denied the state’s motion to dismiss — a win for the underdog campaign.
What they’re saying: “‘Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision,’” the court ruling from Marion County Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Dietrick reads, quoting Indiana-raised attorney and former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. “It is with this purpose in mind that the court renders its decision.”
The backstory: John Rust, running to succeed U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, currently can’t appear on the Republican ballot because of a law prohibiting candidates whose last two primary votes don’t match the party they wish to represent.
Rust sued to gain access to the Republican ballot, saying the measure barred the vast majority of Hoosiers from running under their preferred party — an argument that seemed to sway the court. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
Hoosier Students to Receive $2 Billion in Debt Forgiveness
What’s new: According to numbers released by The White House Wednesday, Hoosier students are receiving an additional 2 billion dollars in student debt forgiveness.
By the numbers: Overall this round of debt forgiveness will impact more than 35,000 Indiana students. The debt relief was in two categories, income driven relief forgiveness, and public service loan forgiveness.
On a national scale this most recent round of debt relief provided 513,000 borrowers with a total or permanent disability with $11.7 billion. It also gave out $22.5 billion to 1.3 million borrowers who the release claims “were cheated by their schools, saw their institutions precipitously close, or are covered by related court settlements.”
Behind the scenes: This latest round of loan forgiveness is on top of the Biden Administration’s establishment of the SAVE repayment plan, which can make some borrowers’ monthly payments as low as $0 and prevents balances from growing due to unpaid interest.
The big picture: The release also claims that the Biden administration has forgiven a total of 132 billion dollars in student loan debt so far. (WOWO)
U.S. Math Scores Plunge
A global exam out today shows U.S. 15-year-olds' math scores lagging way behind their peers in the world's industrialized countries.
- U.S. students saw a 13-point drop in 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math results when compared to the 2018 exam, Axios' Ivana Saric reports.
- The U.S. scored above the OECD average in reading and science.
Why it matters: The 2022 PISA edition is the first to take place since the pandemic. It compares the test results of nearly 700,000 students across 81 OECD member states and partner economies.
💡 What works: 31 countries and economies maintained or improved upon their 2018 math scores, including Switzerland and Japan.
- Countries that did so shared some common characteristics, including shorter school closures during the pandemic and fewer impediments to remote learning, per the report.
🖼 The big picture: Students around the world have suffered historic setbacks in reading and math since COVID.
- The setbacks spanned nations rich and poor, big and small, with few making progress.
🧠 Context: Multiple studies have highlighted the adverse and stark impact of the pandemic on education. (Axios)
Births Barely Keep Up With Deaths
Indiana's birth rate fell dramatically between 2007 and 2022, dropping from 14.1 births per 1,000 people to 11.7, Axios Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report based on new CDC data.
Why it matters: Outside the fast-growing Indianapolis area, most of the state is experiencing population loss.
By the numbers: Three-quarters of Indiana counties recorded more deaths than births last year, per an IU analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
What they're saying: "Due largely to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of deaths in Indiana remained exceptionally high in 2022," Matt Kinghorn, senior demographer at the Indiana Business Research Center, said in his analysis.
- "Add in another year with relatively low fertility rates, and there were only 1,024 more births than deaths in the state last year."
💭 James' thought bubble: I'm happy to contribute to Indiana's future with the birth of my daughter, Meredith, in May.
- However, population growth will be up to everyone else from here on out because two kids are plenty for our household.
Zoom out: The nationwide birth rate dropped from 14.3 births per 1,000 people to 11.1, or nearly 23%, from 2007 to 2002. (Axios)
How The Delayed FAFSA Is Impacting A New Mandate For Indiana Students
It’s the first school year that Indiana students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA. But they still don’t have access to the form.
Why it matters: The FAFSA is how students are considered for federal financial aid such as grants, loans, and scholarships. The delay in releasing the form could create a time crunch for students.
The big picture: The statewide requirement is part of an effort to boost Indiana’s college-going rate. Filling out the FAFSA is considered an indicator of college-going.
What's next: Families need to prepare by creating their Federal Student Aid ID before starting the form. (Chalkbeat)
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Tuesday, December 12th - Bill Request Deadline for Senate @ 4:30pm
Tuesday, December 12th - Bill Request Deadline for House @ 5pm
Thursday, January 4th - Unlimited Bill Filing Ends in the Senate
Friday, January 5th - Two Per Day Bill Filing Begins in the Senate
Monday, January 8th - First Day of the 2024 Legislative Session
Tuesday, January 9th - Senate Bill Filing Deadline
Tuesday, January 9th - State of the State @ 7pm
Wednesday, January 10th - State of the Judiciary @ 2pm
Thursday, January 11th - House Bill Filing Deadline
Tuesday, January 16th - Senate Deadline to Assign Bills to Committee
Tuesday, January 16th - Statements of Economic Interest Due in House and Senate
Tuesday, January 30th - House Committee Report Deadline
Thursday, February 1st - House 2nd Reading Deadline
Thursday, February 1st - Senate Committee Report Deadline
Monday, February 5th - House 3rd Reading Deadline
Monday, February 5th - Senate 2nd Reading Deadline
Tuesday, February 6th - Senate 3rd Reading Deadline
Tuesday, February 27th - House Committee Report Deadline
Thursday, February 29th - House 2nd Reading Deadline
Thursday, February 29th - Senate Committee Report Deadline
Monday, March 4th - House 3rd Reading Deadline
Monday, March 4th - Senate 2nd Reading Deadline
Tuesday, March 5th - Senate 3rd Reading Deadline
Thursday, March 14 - Last Day to Adjourn Sine Die