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Budget increases, not cuts for Indiana K-12 public schools

Indiana’s K-12 public schools will not face funding cuts during the upcoming fiscal year, despite coronavirus-fueled state revenue losses, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.

Posted: Jun 17, 2020 10:15 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s K-12 public schools will not face funding cuts during the upcoming fiscal year, despite coronavirus-fueled state revenue losses, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday.

The state plans to move forward with the current budget, which includes a $183 million increase for K-12 spending for 2020-21. Holcomb also said he supports fully funding all students enrolled in the state’s public schools, whether they're attending class in-person or online. The Legislature has allocated $7.5 billion from the General Fund for tuition support for the year.

“Not only have our K-12 schools been spared the knife — or a cut in their budgets — even while a global pandemic has truly washed upon our shores,” Holcomb said, “but this just underscores the priority or the importance that was place at this very foundational level.”

An economic slowdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has led to questions about state revenues and possible budget cuts. Holcomb said the decision to leave K-12 funding was reached in collaboration with legislative leaders, calling it a testament to “how important it has been that we have prudently managed our state, fiscally speaking, through the good times and the tough times.”

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick hailed the announcement.

"Schools will have one less stressor as they continue to educate our students during this unprecedented time,” she said in a statement

Republican state Sen. Ryan Mishler said he was glad the funding would continue as planned, “though we acknowledge there are many unknowns as we move forward.” He said he would “support fully” the funding of students who attend classes virtually because of restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus.

All Indiana schools closed in mid-March and largely shifted to online coursework.

The Indiana School Boards Association called Holcomb's commitment “tremendous news” considering the decline in state revenue, which is projected to be as much as $2 billion by the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

In the third straight month of shortfalls, Indiana reported state tax collections coming in $230 million, or 20%, below expectations for May. Officials expect those declines to persist in the coming months as the pandemic continues to play out. Looking ahead, Holcomb said state budget officials estimate that the loss during the next 14 months could be even larger than the $3 billion decline that followed the 2008-09 recession.

To compensate, public universities still face 7% in cuts — equal to a $103 million — according to plans released last week. State agencies have also been directed to cut 15% for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. Holcomb said the cuts to higher education were unwanted, but a sacrifice to to protect dollars going to K-12 schools.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
Madison10561212
Vigo10483171
Clark10240130
Monroe9076108
Delaware8836132
LaPorte8771155
Howard7897138
Kosciusko787277
Warrick643890
Hancock638797
Bartholomew626694
Floyd6150105
Wayne5933157
Grant5818110
Dubois544372
Boone534367
Morgan516291
Marshall494184
Henry493664
Cass471760
Noble460557
Dearborn458444
Jackson414745
Shelby402179
Lawrence380575
Clinton364539
Gibson356556
DeKalb337363
Montgomery334851
Harrison328542
Knox327839
Miami309843
Steuben306340
Adams295235
Whitley294125
Wabash293045
Ripley292345
Putnam284847
Huntington283557
Jasper282433
White267538
Daviess261672
Jefferson250738
Fayette242348
Decatur242182
Greene233360
Posey232326
Wells229447
LaGrange224161
Clay217932
Scott216937
Randolph208340
Jennings192535
Sullivan189031
Spencer181917
Fountain179725
Washington177118
Starke171341
Jay162821
Owen159537
Fulton159229
Carroll152115
Orange151433
Rush149918
Perry147227
Vermillion144933
Franklin143433
Parke12908
Tipton128232
Pike113625
Blackford107522
Pulaski95237
Newton89421
Brown85530
Benton84310
Crawford7579
Martin70013
Warren6587
Switzerland6205
Union6113
Ohio4677
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