INDIANAPOLIS — A DeKalb County teacher Wednesday testified before the Indiana Senate Education and Career Development Committee, opposing a bill that would create an “adjunct teacher.”

Lindsay Winslow Brown of Auburn is the K-5 art teacher at J.E. Ober Elementary School.

Speaking to the committee at the Indiana Statehouse, Brown said she was there to oppose Senate Bill 356 as a parent and as a teacher.

The bill provides that the governing body of a school corporation may issue an adjunct teacher permit to an individual who meets certain requirements. If the governing body of a school corporation issues an adjunct teacher permit, the school corporation may enter into a contract for employment as a part-time teacher of the school corporation.

Under the bill, an adjunct teacher is not a school employee for the purposes of collective bargaining. An employment contract with an adjunct teacher is not subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

The bill advanced out of committee by a vote of 7-5.

“When I read this bill, one of the problems we are trying to address is teacher shortages. There are parts of this proposed legislation that are deeply concerning because we are not keeping in mind what is best for the children,” Brown shared in her prepared testimony.

“We must keep children at the center of our questions any time we are talking about education because education is for our children.”

Brown said the adjunct status “seems to significantly water down teaching standards.”

Drawing on her own professional experiences, which include writing and marketing before getting the call to education, Brown said she went from teaching preschool to elementary art. In doing so, she completed transitioning to teaching by obtaining her master’s degree in elementary education at Ball State University.

“I already had an art history degree, experiences in the corporate world, children of my own, preschool teaching experiences, but the pedagogy, lesson planning, child development and age-appropriate practices that were stressed in my classes were invaluable. I’m concerned that this bill does not have any requirement for this at any time,” Brown said.

Brown said she has had mentors who have helped her as she continues to learn what is best for her students.

“This bill does not speak to the issue of mentors, or additional training a person would need to be in a classroom setting. Our schools need teachers who understand children,” Brown added.

“As a teacher, I really need to be looking at what is best for our children.”

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