House GOP Reject Attempts By Democrats To Change School Funding Formula

Feb 24, 2015

Credit Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

House Republicans Monday rejected Democrats’ attempts to make changes to the state budget bill. 

The House GOP’s budget proposal changes the school funding formula.  The change would give wealthier, growing school districts such as Zionsville and Carmel significantly more money, while state support for poorer schools in Gary and Indianapolis that are losing students would sharply decline.  Indianapolis Democratic Representative Greg Porter says his caucus’ alternative budget proposal would increase funding for every school in the state, accomplished in part by righting what Democrats view as a past wrong.

“We restore the 325 million dollars that Governor Daniels cut back in 2011,” says Porter.

But Ways and Means chair Tim Brown says the Democrats’ school funding formula essentially undoes the changes Republicans made, changes he says would force the state to have difficult, but necessary conversations about what’s best for students.

“Corporations that are losing ADM or counts – kids in their building – have no incentive to close a building,” says Brown.

Republicans also rejected amendments to provide free textbooks to public school students, and a proposed four-year tuition freeze for incoming freshman at Indiana’s colleges and universities.