During the 2017 session, the General Assembly passed a two-year budget, which included up to $7.04 billion for school funding, or about $5,956 per student, which was based on estimated enrollment numbers for the 2017-18 school year.
Over half of our General Fund is dedicated to K-12 education, but statewide public-school enrollment numbers for the 2017-18 school year exceeded the projections that we used at the time the budget was passed into law. If legislative changes were not made, this would have left schools with less money per-student than the state budget had allocated.
To address this issue, the General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1001, which works to ensure Indiana schools receive the amount of per-student funding intended by the state budget. If enrollment numbers during a given fiscal year are higher than expected, HEA 1001 requires the Indiana State Budget Agency to transfer money from the K-12 State Tuition Reserve Account to supplement the tuition support cap, avoiding a reduction in per-student funding.
Because of this change, HEA 1001 provides every school in Indiana with more per-student funding, regardless of whether the school’s enrollment increased or decreased. In the General Assembly, we never questioned whether we should make adjustments to cover the shortfall – we knew it was imperative to deliver the funding we originally promised school districts across the state. Increasing school funding was vital to covering the cost of educating an additional number of students, and I’m thankful to my colleagues for their hard work in making sure we met that need.
Providing adequate funding to schools will allow Hoosier students continued access to a good education, and this legislation enables that and helps create a brighter future for our state.
As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this or other topics, contact my office by phone at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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