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Meet Robert Behning

Indiana House of Representatives: 1992-Present

House District 91: Marion and Hendricks Counties

Committees:
Education, Chairman
Public Health
Utilities and Energy

Address: 200 West Washington Street, Suite 401-3, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

Occupation: Consultant and Small Business Owner

Education: B.S., Indiana University

Representative Behning has served in the Indiana State Legislature since 1992 and represents House District 91, including Marion and Hendricks counties.  He was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and has been a proud Hoosier his entire life. In 1976, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University. He was a small business owner for 30 years and is an active member of his church and community.

Throughout his tenure as a representative, he has advocated for education reform in Indiana. As Chairman of the House Education Committee, he led efforts to pass the most comprehensive education reform package in the United States.

Rep. Behning believes all parents deserve the right to choose the school that best meets their child's needs.

In 2001, Rep. Behning was the coauthor of House Bill 2102, a bill that would have created Indiana’s first charter schools.

In 2011, Rep. Behning authored House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1003, creating the School Choice Scholarship program that provides families who do not have the financial means a scholarship (or voucher) to pay the cost of tuition at a private school.  This law levels the educational playing field in Indiana by giving students of lower incomes and underprivileged backgrounds the same access to great educational options. The law also establishes a tax deduction for individual taxpayers who donate money to scholarship granting organizations.

In the 2013 legislative session, Rep. Behning  focused on bringing greater accountability to the classroom and give more Hoosier students the access to an educational environment that best fits their needs. His top three priority bills were HEA 1003, 1338 and Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 465. HEA 1003 made changes to Indiana's School Choice program, giving more students the opportunity to access a variety of opportunities. HEA 1003 also improved the current school grading system, creating one letter ranking focusing primarily on how students improve. Additionally, the attendance of a full kindergarten year will now qualify as two semesters in a public school before a student can access the School Choice program. HEA 1003 gave the siblings of Choice Scholarship recipients and children with disabilities access to the School Choice program. HEA 1338 increase accountability and standards in charter schools, enhancing transparency in student's performances. The legislation will address various issues regarding charter school administration, including making charter schools eligible to receive School Safety Grants. SEA 465 creates the Indiana Works Council, which will provide recommendations to the legislature on how to create innovative improvements to Indiana's job skill training. The governor will designate distinct geographic regions throughout the state and establish a Works Council for each region.

Outside of his legislative role, Rep. Behning is also very involved in a number of community activities. He was on the board of directors at Westview Hospital. This position helped him become a key advocate for Marian University’s Osteopathic School of Medicine, Indiana’s second medical school, which opened in Fall 2013.

Rep. Behning was the School Board Chairman of Calvary Lutheran High School of Indianapolis from 1988-1992.  He was the board president at the Lutheran High School in Indianapolis from 2000-2004.He was the Executive Director at Calvary Lutheran Church, LCMS, in Southport, Indiana from 2008-2014. Rep. Behning was an active member of the Guilford Township Civic Association.  From 1996 to 2004, he was State Chair of Indiana for the American Legislative Exchange Council.  Additionally, he is a member of the Decatur Township Civic Council.

Through years of experience, knowledge and passion, Rep. Behning fundamentally strengthened Indiana’s K-12 education system and put tools in place that will equip Indiana students with a high quality education to prepare them for success.




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