Senate Democrats make second attempt to fix school funding formula

Published On: April 12th, 2021Categories: Caucus, Eddie Melton

Indianapolis—Today, Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary) made a second attempt to fix the school funding formula in House Bill 1001, offering an amendment similar to the one he put forth on behalf of the Senate Democratic Caucus in Thursday’s Senate Appropriations Committee.

The proposed amendment would have done several things:

  • Added an additional $278M over the Senate Republican school funding formula
  • Increased the funding for each special education category by 10% year-over-year in FY 2022 and FY 2023
  • Removed the House’s “complexity floor” and “complexity ceiling” to expand resources available for educating low-income students
  • Set virtual ADM funding to 85% of the foundation grant amount starting in FY 22
  • Excluded any Choice expansion
  • Excluded the creation of the ESA program
  • Kept the Career Technical Education categorical funding at FY 2021 levels
  • Set the foundation grant amount, which is a grant that every school receives for each student, to match the House-passed budget
  • Increased the complexity grant amount so that the appropriation grows year-over-year by 3% to better fund education for low-income students

“This budget year, we had the opportunity to adopt a school funding formula that works for every school. A formula that recognizes that the majority of our students are educated in traditional public schools and reflects that,” Sen. Melton said. “That’s what the amendment I offered on behalf of my caucus would have done. It would have promoted equity in our school funding formula and ensured that voucher programs didn’t receive increased funding at the expense of our traditional public schools.

“While there were significant improvements made to the House’s funding formula here in the Senate, we simply didn’t do enough. We need to invest more money into K-12 to adequately fund all the types of schools that are now part of the formula and also ensure that teachers are paid fairly. Our schools, teachers and students deserve adequate and equitable funding.”

The amendment was voted down 14-36.

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