Following appointment of new committee leader Jeff Raatz, officials consider effect of government on schools, anticipate future changes

Lillian He

On Nov. 9, Sen. Dennis Kruse stepped down from his role as the leader of the education committee in the Indiana Senate, a position he held for 10 years. His successor Sen. Jeff Raatz plans to continue the majority of the policies that Kruse pushed for but also has goals of his own.

Raatz said via email, “I believe my time will be spent focusing on the workforce, Career Technological Education and certainly higher Education Department preparations. Of course, there will be many hot-button issues such as school safety that will continually be a concern and more issues that require immediate attention.”

Both the state and national government have a profound impact on the policies and curriculum at CHS.

“The legislature sets the laws which include laws regarding education, policies regarding diploma requirements, what kinds of credits have to be earned, what kinds of credits have to be passed,” Assistant Principal Valerie Piehl said. “It’s up to the Indiana Department of Education to determine how to implement that into schools.”

She said every year one or two new bills are passed that will affect CHS directly. According to Piehl, one example of such a bill was the new requirement passed last year that mandated a body safety presentation, which CHS implemented through a presentation by Chaucie’s Place.

Due to CHS’s status as a large public high school, the process of implementing new legislature may vary when compared to other schools.

“For example, with that safety presentation, it’s always a challenge at a large public school like Carmel when you have to have a presentation to all of the students,” Piehl said. “There are a lot of benefits as well; we have more technology to use when implementing changes.”

However, Raatz said, “Generally speaking, legislation is designed to impact all schools equally by being student-centered. However, there are times in which certain districts could be impacted differently, but definitely not by design.”

Mia Bruder, member of the principal’s advisory council and sophomore, said she helps to make sure the voices of all the students are heard.

Bruder said new education legislature will be effective even for large schools like Carmel as long as the government continues to take the opinions of the schools into account on these issues.