Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Indiana Schools Would Lose $56 Million Under Trump Education Budget

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, calls the proposed federal education budget “a big hit.” (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, says Indiana schools would be affected by the proposed federal education budget. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Indiana schools stand to lose about $56 million for teacher training and after school programs for low-income students, under proposed budget cuts by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Jennifer McCormick, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, says the proposed budget would be “a big hit” to the state. She says cuts would hamper efforts to attract teachers, stifle new programs under a new federal education law and reduce programs for low-income students.

“Is it concerning? Absolutely,” McCormick says. “We need as much money to flow into our traditional public schools, and our public charter schools that are struggling, [as] we can get there.”

Trump’s proposed budget would slash the U.S. Department of Education’s budget by $9 billion, a 13.5 percent reduction.

It would eliminate funding for two major programs. The first is the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, or Title II funds, which provides money for teacher training retainment. The second is the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which funds after school programs for low-income students.

The Indiana Department of Education is set to receive $55.9 million for the two programs during the 2017-18 school year.

In December, the department awarded nearly $10.3 million to 57 organizations to provide after school programs for students in low-performing and high-poverty schools under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. Those organizations provide services from academic tutoring to music, arts, sports and cultural activities.

“Some of those after school programs are a vital part of what we’re doing,” McCormick says. “Just to eliminate it, I don’t think, is the best course of action.”

McCormick says she is also concerned about the move to eliminate funds for teacher training and retainment.

“That would be devastating,” McCormick says. “Many districts use that money now for class size reduction, for professional development, for teacher leadership development.”

She says cuts at the federal level would be exacerbated by “modest” state funding for schools.

“We’re looking at, potentially, a very small increase from the state level budget,” McCormick says. “So that, on top of maybe a significant hit from the federal budget, obviously, is kind of a double edged sword.”

One of the largest unknowns in the Trump administration’s proposed budget is a $1 billion increase for Title I, which provides funding to high-poverty schools. This increase would be dedicated to promoting and increasing school choice for students.

How that would play out for Indiana, the state with the nation’s most robust school choice program, remains “up in the air,” McCormick says. She wants more details.

“Is that to start choice? Is that the sustaining of choice? Is it to provide more choice? – We’re pretty saturated already,” McCormick says. “There are just a lot questions still.”

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Comments

  • Marty Martin

    Deplorable!
    Trump is certainly sticking it to his supporters and states that elected him.

  • GG

    We complain about urban crime, young adults lacking the skills to land a job, and the degrade of social order while simultaneously slashing our most vulnerable children’s access to high-quality teachers and programs that keep them out of trouble. Truly a lose/lose for everyone involved.

  • Jesu$ Corp

    This doesn’t sound good for my property taxes…

    • Calvin D. Anderson

      Schools can’t rely on property taxes to take up the slack since property taxes were capped years ago. Most urban and rural school districts do not have a growing tax base to generate new local revenues, but the state hasn’t kept its promise to replace lost property tax revenues for schools. So schools have been cutting and cutting. Then charter schools and private school scholarships have been funded by cutting traditional public schools. It’s created a real financial storm for public schools.

      Staff doesn’t see raises but they continually take money from their own pockets to meet needs of at-risk children at the same time that employee health insurance coverage also eats up their salary at higher rates than inflation. It’s no wonder we have a teacher shortage and no wonder many of us feel the state legislature and Congress and the White House are doing their best to destroy public schools.

  • Alice63

    Because school choice is a thinly veiled ploy to siphon taxpayer dollars to private and really, parochial schools, where students don’t have to learn even the basics of science, let alone critical thinking skills or evidence based reasoning, this is ominous indeed.

  • hoosiercommonsense

    The use of public school dollars to create a state charter school board, for children to use vouchers, or to attend substandard semi-private schools run by for-profit corporations and private/parochial schools is an unconstitutional use of taxpayer funds with little to no taxpayer accountability. It is a nationwide Republican political initiative for the usual Republican reasons. These practices should immediately be stopped and the money returned to public school budgets. In some states, taxpayers have banded together to pursue class action lawsuits to halt the draining of public school budgets and the dumbing-down of an entire generation of students. Will Indiana be next? The harassment of Glenda Ritz and the appointment of our state public schools superintendent, instead of election by the voters is another Republican political initiative that is not just Hoosier in origin. It is happening in other states to solidify Republican control. The right says it’s meant to hire better qualified candidates. The left says schools are being run for profit and exploitation of federal education funds. The appointment takes away control from the voters to choose a superintendent who aligns with their values, or to protest negative policies in education. Whom do you believe?

  • disqus_9i6pUJ4xMT

    You can blame it on Republicans who election was brought and pay for by Devos one of them is Todd Young. She gave him money for his campaign, So when it came a time to vote to confirm her, he was jolly on the spot. He does not care about the public schools, if he did he would have voted NO for her confirmation.

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