INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph’s (D-East Chicago) proposal to change the structure of East Chicago’s school board governing body passed the Senate Elections Committee. Senate Bill (SB) 350 would reduce the number of members of the governing body from nine to five beginning January 1, 2017.

“Having a smaller school board would help to promote efficiency and better serve the community, especially students,” said Sen. Randolph. “I think the way by which members of the body are chosen under this proposal would also help to ensure that qualified individuals make the right choices for East Chicago schools.”

Under SB 350, all five members of the board would be elected at large by voters. A similar proposal which would reduce the size of the school board in East Chicago to five members is also being considered in the House of Representatives. Two members of the board would be appointed by the Mayor of East Chicago under House Bill 1514.

SB 350 passed unanimously in committee and will be considered by the full Senate on second reading where any member of the Senate can amend the proposal.

Sen. Randolph represents Indiana Senate District 2 which encompasses portions of Lake County, including the communities of East Chicago, Whiting, and portions of Gary, Griffith, Hammond, Hobart and Merrillville.For more information on Sen. Randolph, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit