Indiana governor announces K-12 funding increase of $183 million

Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday that Indiana schools would receive a $183 million funding increase.

Holcomb made the announcement during Wednesday’s coronavirus response briefing.

“K-12 schools have been spared the knife or cut in their budget,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This demonstrates or underscores the priority or importance that we place at this very foundational level. That we were able to arrive here and how important it has been that we have prudently managed our state, fiscally speaking, through the good times and the tough times.”

The state previously asked schools to look for ways to cut their budgets, but the governor said he made this funding a priority and was able to retract that request.

“Our goal through out this whole process, navigating our way through these rocky, shallow waters, has intended on making sure every student in our K-12 system if they so choose, and their passionate about going on to college, that they have the ability to do that,” the governor said.

Chris Johnston from the Office of Management and Budget also announced that the Care’s Legislation will provide schools with $192 million. Funds are distributed by a Title I formula to schools. Virtual education funding is given when a student receives 50% or more of their learning online. Schools receives only 85% of the base funding for that student. Details regarding coronavirus virtual learning are still being determined.

Schools can use this money for any activity authorized by the elementary and secondary education act, adult education, career and technical education, education for homeless, preparing or responding to the coronavirus, providing school leaders with resources to provide for their schools, unique needs for low income students and all other activities that are necessary to maintain school operation.

Johnston said the state is continuing to work on the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund that totals about $61 million which focuses on remote learning.

“Education has been and will be a priority for not only the Holcomb Administration but for the general assembly. It was definitely a priority in the last legislative session,” Johnston said.

The Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction responded by saying, “I am pleased our state decision makers will not cut funding from Indiana K-12 education. The Department’s recommendation to not penalize schools for virtual options was also granted. Schools will have one less stressor as they continue to educate our students during this unprecedented time.”

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