Bill Would Fill School Funding Gap Caused By Increased Enrollment
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Unless state lawmakers provide additional funding, Indiana’s public schools will see a shortfall in their revenues this school year.
Indiana budget officials miscalculated what the statewide school enrollment figure would be. About 6,000 more students statewide are attending public schools that was anticipated. Although the headcount difference is small at only about 0.5 percent of the state’s total enrollment of about one million students, the underestimation will mean about $16 million more is needed to cover basic tuition support for those students.
Senate Bill 189 would address the deficit by redirecting money for the tuition reserve account. The bill authored by Senator Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. It now heads to the full Senate.
Indiana uses a two-year budget, meaning that the shortfall could reoccur next school year. The bill allows for the appropriation again next year, with a cap of $25 million.
A similar bill passed in a House committee earlier in the week.
Without additional funding, schools will receive about $15 less per student this school year. That figure can add up when considering a school corporation has hundreds or thousands of students.