The revenue forecast released Friday projects Indiana will collect nearly $650 million more than planned for in the budget. Governor Mitch Daniels says $150 million of it will go to education. “With about a quarter of that being used to complete the extension of full day kindergarten to every school district in the state,” said Daniels.
Full day kindergarten is in about 75 percent of the districts in Indiana. Another, smaller fund – roughly five or ten million dollars – will go towards paying teachers under a system rewarding performance rather than seniority. The remaining money will go into general school funds. Daniels, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long made the announcement together, and all three emphasized the revenue forecast is not a guarantee. Long says the state still needs to be cautious. “So it’s important that we keep our eye on the ball,” said Long, “and keep whatever additional revenues come in, if they do, tucked away in a surplus.”
Daniels says the $150 million they’ve allocated for education is the number they’re comfortable spending.