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Pence’s Budget Boosts Education Funding 1 Percent

Mike Pence gives his inaugural address at the statehouse on Jan. 14, 2013.

Governor Mike Pence wants a one percent increase for K-12 school funding in each of the next two years, but schools would have to earn the extra money in the second year. The governor’s budget includes around $190 million for K-12 schools.

Crothersville Democratic Representative Terry Goodin says that is not enough.

“Our public schools are the number one economic development tool in our state,” he says. “So if that’s the case, we need to fund those economic development tools properly. One percent’s probably not going to do that.”

Goodin says school funding must include a discussion of the best way to target more money at improving education. Pence aims to do that by creating a performance-based model for the school funding increase in the second year of his budget.

Budget Director Chris Atkins says schools would receive money based on three metrics: their school letter grade, graduation rate and percentage of students passing the state’s third grade reading assessment.

“We believe this performance-based funding, the 64 million in fiscal year ‘15, could provide incentives to our schools to provide more high quality options for our children,” Atkins says.

Goodin says performance-based funding is not necessarily a bad idea, but adds he wants to learn more about the details before evaluating Pence’s proposal.

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