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NASBE Names Indiana Legislator Brian C. Bosma as Policy Leader of the Year


Alexandria, Va.—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to honor Brian C. Bosma, recently retired speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, as 2020 Policy Leader of the Year. This award is given annually to a national or state policymaker in recognition of their contributions to education.

Under Speaker Bosma’s leadership, Indiana adopted new graduation pathways that moved the state away from having a single, statewide summative exam determine whether or not a student is prepared for life after graduation. These pathways provide multiple options for students to demonstrate they are equipped for careers and postsecondary education and training. Legislation that Bosma supported also established a panel to develop and recommend Indiana’s graduation requirements and gave the Indiana State Board of Education responsibility for approval and implementation of the pathways. During Bosma’s tenure, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools ranked Indiana first in the nation for the quality of its laws governing the Indiana charter school sector.

“Speaker Bosma believes in the importance of state boards of education and always strove to give the decision making to the appointed members with the technical education knowledge to do the work for the students of Indiana,” said NASBE Chair-Elect Byron Ernest.

Bosma helped drive a statewide focus on student learning that led to improved NAEP scores in all categories during his time as speaker. He oversaw four consecutive budgets that included the largest funding increases for public education in Indiana history, authored legislation creating the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship to help future teachers’ pay for college, led the charge to improve the quality of the teaching workforce by establishing meaningful teacher evaluations, and championed legislation to enable the state Senate and House of Representatives to each name an appointee to the Indiana State Board of Education.

Bosma chairs the Government Practice Group of Kroger Gardis & Regas and serves as general or special counsel to municipalities and business entities throughout Indiana. He is a frequent author and lecturer on environmental, corporate, construction, and municipal matters and gained additional interest and experience in education by serving as legislative adviser to then Superintendent H. Dean Evans at the Indiana Department of Education.

Between 1986 and July 2020, Bosma was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives, serving in various leadership positions and becoming the longest serving speaker in state history. He is also founding director of Bosma Industries for the Blind and chairman of the Bosma Visionary Opportunities Foundation.

“In Indiana, we have remained focused on providing high-quality education opportunities to all students to make sure they are prepared for the challenges ahead, whether that’s pursuing a degree or credential, or entering the workforce,” Bosma said. “From making historic K-12 investments to creating graduation pathways and cutting red tape for our schools and teachers, Indiana has made great strides. I’m grateful to have been part of these accomplishments and thankful for this tremendous recognition from the National Association of State Boards of Education.”

“The Policy Leader of the Year award is the highest honor that state board of education members can bestow,” said NASBE President and CEO Robert Hull. “Speaker Bosman’s leadership on education in the legislature has enabled Indiana to trailblaze on education policies that are being adopted across the country. His combined efforts and steadfast commitment to educational excellence will have a lasting impact on students in the Hoosier state for years to come.”

The 2020 Policy Leader of the Year award will be presented at NASBE’s virtual annual conference on October 21, 2020.

NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances.

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