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Noon Edition

Education Legislation To Follow During The 2021 Session

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(Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.

Education will play a major role for Indiana lawmakers in this year's legislative session, as they set the budget for the next two years and examine how COVID-19 has affected schools.

One bill they’re looking at would provide schools full funding for students learning remotely because of COVID-19. 

Another that passed out of the House on Tuesday would expand funding for the state’s private school voucher program. This bill would expand eligibility of those who can receive state-funded private school vouchers to families of four with an annual income of $145,000.

Supporters of the bill say it is meant to expand options for parents to decide how their children will be educated.

But critics say the bill will divert funding from away from public schools, and schools that would receive funding from the program aren’t subject to the same level of accountability as public schools.

Indiana schools will also have more federal funding available to them next month to help deal the economic fallout of COVID-19. The funding expires September 2023.

Education leaders says they plan to focus the money on one-time expenses and immediate needs, and this money won’t help compensate for the long-term financial challenges schools were facing before the pandemic.

Lawmakers are also looking at legislation to address the learning loss created by the pandemic this year. One piece of legislation would create a $150 million grant fund for schools that submit  “a student learning acceleration plan.” 

This week on Noon Edition, we’re talking with school finance and education experts about bills addressing education this legislative session.

Reporting done by Eric Weddle, WFYI's education editor and Jeanie Lindsay, education reporter for IPB.

You can follow us on Twitter @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling in at 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send us questions for the show at news@indianapublicmedia.org.

Note-This week of our guests and hosts will participate remotely to avoid risk of spreading infection. 

Guests 

Denny Costerison, Indiana Association of School Business Officials, executive director

Terry Spradlin, Indiana School Board Association, executive director

Eric Weddle, WFYI Education Editor

Paul Farmer, teacher Bloomington High School North, MCEA President

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