Tomorrow (Monday, Feb. 27) the Indiana House will take a final third reading vote on a budget that puts funding for our school children back in the Great Recession.
The House budget (HB 1001) increases K-12 funding for next year only 1.1%. This is the same low increase for schools passed in the 2009-10 budget and again in 2012-13 during the stress of the Great Recession.
For the second year of the biennium, the House budget proposal increases K-12 funding by 1.7%, well below the latest inflation rate which the Bureau of Labor Statistics says now stands at 2.5%.
Why is the House putting our student support back to the Great Recession? Are we that bad off?
In the last two-year budget in 2015, K-12 funding increased 2.3% both years. Increases for the past 20 years can be seen in the attachment to give you the full picture. Look at the column labeled "Total Funding."
Only the righteous indignation of parents, educators and community members can get House members to do better for our K-12 students.
Please contact your member of the House or any member of the House before the vote Monday afternoon to tell them that this budget is totally inadequate for our K-12 students. Tell them in the midst of a growing economy, they must do better than 1.1%.
Don't Be Fooled by the Numbers Game
What our K-12 students need is an increase in "Total Funding". As stated above, the current House budget would raise this only 2.8% (1.1% and 1.7%) over the two-year budget, compared to 4.6% (2.3% and 2.3%) in the current two-year budget passed in 2015.
Some members of the House have tried to focus on other measures to distract attention from the meager increases of 1.1% and 1.7%:
Eyes glaze over quickly when citing budget numbers, but there is a simple message here for House members: They should do better than a 1.1% increase next year for our K-12 students!
Now is the time to speak up for better funding for our K-12 students. Thanks for your advocacy for public education!
Vic Smith firstname.lastname@example.org