Holcomb works to secure full school funding, reacts to high hospitalization number

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Governor Eric Holcomb has addressed concerns over a drop in school funding due to lower attendance numbers. He has planned to ask the State Board of Education to move back a key date to ensure schools get 100% percent of needed funds.

“The most ideal place for a student to learn is the classroom,” Holcomb said during his weekly press conference.

Despite his stance on in-school attendance, Holcomb acknowledged that the day to count students should be pushed back to at least December. The annual fall count date was set to happen in September.

Wednesday afternoon, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick released a statement in response to the governor’s comments.

“As I have from the beginning, I will continue to champion a solution to the complex issue of adequately and fully funding schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department was informed late this morning of the Governor’s proposed ADM count date delay. IDOE staff is in the process of reviewing for its potential financial benefits and consequences. This delay is just that- a delay. Hoosier schools deserve a solution to secure 100 percent funding as districts are bargaining, budgeting, and preparing for the next 18 months.”

Dr. Jennifer McCormick

Both Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box spoke Wednesday on the worries of students returning to school building across the state. Discussions have been happening to produce a website to track COVID-19 cases, but what seemed more pressing is the spread of cases by students outside of classrooms.

“My fear is we will see another spike after Labor Day if people continue to ignore our guidance,” Dr Box said.

Dr. Box listed celebrations like graduation parties and gatherings of student athletes as areas of concern in spreading the virus. She continued to stress the need for masks, staying home if sick and talking to contract tracers who call.

Among the list of stats shared Wednesday was 964 hospitalizations related to COVID-19, one of the highest daily numbers since May.

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