Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Where We Stand As Indiana Budget Debate Moves To Senate

    Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

    The windows of the Indiana State Teachers Association building in downtown Indianapolis reflect the lit-up dome of the Indiana Statehouse.

    Two weeks after Republican House members approved their proposed state budget, Senate lawmakers formally began debate on the two-year spending plan today.

    Both Gov. Mike Pence and House Republicans called for spending more than $15.3 billion on K-12 education; the total amounts the two sides propose to spend on K-12 education are only $74 million apart.

    But what about The Tax Cut?

    Gov. Mike Pence has said he’s “disappointed” with the House plan because it didn’t include his proposal to slash income taxes by 10 percent.

    As we’ve explained, whether lawmakers work Pence’s tax cut into the budget could hinge upon how they fund other priorities, such as education.

    So how far apart are the House GOP and Pence on certain key line items in the K-12 budget?

    House Republicans say their plan would increase K-12 funding by nearly $344 million over the next two years.

    But “budget matters get complex very quickly,” writes longtime education policy-watcher Vic Smith, who contends that in the end, the budget proposal currently in the Senate would add “$47 million in what can truly be called new money.”

    Smith says lawmakers and the governor must add more funding to erase cuts to K-12 funding the Daniels administration made during the Great Recession.

    We’ve also been watching the higher education budget. While Pence proposes a modest increase in funding for building projects on the state’s college campuses, the House GOP plan calls for record levels of facilities funding.


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