Struggling Schools Lose Under Pence-Holcomb Administration

INDIANAPOLIS – Eric Holcomb claims his administration has invested more dollars in education than ever before. Tell that to the rural and urban schools who have seen their funding slashed while suburban corporations and charter programs take their place.

“Eric Holcomb is simply not being transparent when he claims that the state has invested more in our education system than ever before. While the Pence-Holcomb Administration has prioritized charter programs and suburban school corporations, struggling urban and rural schools are left behind,” said John Zody, Chairman. “Indiana needs a comprehensive approach to education investment. Until that’s done, students, teachers, and entire communities will continue to be shortchanged opportunities in favor of the out-of-touch political agenda of the Mike Pence-Eric Holcomb team.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: STRUGGLING SCHOOLS LOSE UNDER PENCE-HOLCOMB ADMINISTRATION

HEADLINE: “Wealthiest Schools Thrive Under New State Budget While Poor Ones Mostly Get Less” [Chalkbeat Indiana, 4/30/15]

In A School Funding Formula Approved By The Indiana Legislature, The 25 School Districts With The Highest Family Income Were All Slated To Get More Per-Student State Aid Than Over Half Of Those With The Lowest Family Income. “The effect of the new school funding formula approved by the Indiana legislature tonight can be summed up by the effect on the richest and poorest communities. Of the 25 school districts with the highest family income, all of them will get more per-student state aid over the next two years. But what about the 25 with the lowest family income? Just 12 of them get more money in 2016 and 2017 across the board — in overall state aid and per-student aid. The rest get less in one or both areas.” [Chalkbeat Indiana, 4/30/15]

Indy Star: “Fast-Growing Suburban Schools Would See Increases In Funding While Poorer, Urban Districts Would See Their Budgets Slashed By Millions Of Dollars.” “The two-year budget approved Wednesday night provides 2.3 percent annual increases in education spending. But not all schools would reap the benefits of those increases. Fast-growing suburban schools would see increases in funding while poorer, urban districts would see their budgets slashed by millions of dollars. The budget plan also includes charter school grants of $500 per student if they perform at a certain level. That’s less than the $1,500 per student that Pence sought. The budget also lifts a cap on elementary school private school vouchers.” [Indy Star, 4/30/15]

Pence Did Not Restore Enough School Funding In His Budget To Keep Pace With The Cost Of Inflation. “The 2015 session is likely to be the first of Gov. Mike Pence’s tenure to be punctuated more by talk of spending on schools and education than talk of tax cuts — his bailiwick of the last two years… Between 2009 and 2013, the latest year for which total education spending data are available, the total spent across the state dropped from $11.51 billion to $11.49 billion. Lawmakers and Pence restored some school funding in the most recent budget, but not enough to keep pace with the cost of inflation.” [Associated Press, 11/2/14]

The Indianapolis Public Schools District Was Set To Lose Nearly $17 Million In The Budget Approved By State Lawmakers. “State lawmakers approved a $31 billion spending plan that will increase funding for K-12 education during the final minutes of the legislative session late Wednesday evening… The Indianapolis Public Schools district is set to lose nearly $17 million in the budget, but suburban school districts will fare better. Charter schools would be eligible for a $500 grant per student under certain circumstances.” [WRTV, 4/30/15]

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