Bill would prevent schools that discriminate from receiving taxpayer money

Posted at 8:54 PM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 20:54:10-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers will be back at work Monday for the start of the 2020 legislative session.

This will be short session for state lawmakers as they will not pass a budget this year, and the session will end in early March.

A bill that was filed Friday could have a large impact on many schools in the state.

Sen. J.D. Ford, D-Indianapolis, filed a bill that he said would prevent schools that discriminate against students, teachers and staff from receiving taxpayer money. He filed it in response to Roncalli High School, which fired guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald after it was discovered she was married to a woman.

Ford filed a similar bill last year, but it didn't get a hearing. So, what's different this year?

"I'm hoping the relationships I have built, and this is what this business is based upon," Ford said. "Being able to talk with my colleagues in a frank manner. I'm hoping those conversations will lead to possibly the bill getting a hearing."

Roncalli has received nearly $5 million in public money through the state's Choice Scholarship Program.