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Senate Republicans disagree, kill controversial school curriculum bill

Brandon Smith
IPB News
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) and Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Granger) met with reporters following their caucus' decision not to move HB 1134 on second reading.

Lawmakers in the Senate effectively killed a controversial school curriculum and parent oversight bill Monday. The bill is dead, but lawmakers said some sections of it may return as part of other legislation before the session ends.

House Bill 1134 went through several changes in the Senate, as lawmakers attempted to address concerns plaguing the bill as it moved through the Statehouse.

Senate Republicans paused the floor session to discuss the bill multiple times ahead of a key legislative deadline on the floor. More than two dozen amendments were filed, mostly by Democrats from the Senate's education committee.

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But ultimately, the bill's author, Sen. Linda Rogers (R-Granger) did not bring the bill forward. Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said the caucus couldn't agree on the bill.

"Some folks that felt like it didn't go far enough. And some folks that felt like it was just difficult policy, and not maybe the right policy to begin to dictate what's going on in schools in that way," he said.

Rogers said the amendments filed by Democrats didn't play a role in the bill's demise, but that she did plan to support Sen. Eddie Melton's (D-Gary) amendment to the bill that would have required enhanced Black History be taught in schools.

She did not support the proposal in committee, but said she changed her mind after learning more about existing Indiana law that requires enhanced education about the Holocaust.

"And since precedent was set, I felt that we could add his amendment and would not be a problem," Rogers said.

Looking forward, Bray said the caucus is still sorting out which parts of the bill will end up elsewhere.

"You'll see maybe a piece or so, but we're not going to parse this bill up and put it all over the place to try and pass it – that is not our intention in any way whatsoever," Bray said.

Session must end no later than March 14.

Contact reporter Jeanie at or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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Jeanie Lindsay