Hendricks County Lawmakers: House bill to fully fund all K-12 public school students this year advances to Senate

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Tuesday, January 26, 2021 3:00 pm

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 26, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted today in support of legislation to fully fund all K-12 public school students for the 2020-21 school year, regardless of whether students attended classes in-person or virtually due to COVID-19.

"Local schools have gone the extra mile to minimize potential learning disruptions over the last year," said State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), K-12 subcommittee chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. "Education remains a top priority for lawmakers, and we are taking quick action to honor our funding commitment made in the previous budget."

State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), chair of the House Education Committee, said the pandemic caused many traditional public schools to shift from in-person classes to remote learning. Under current law, schools receive 85% of tuition support per virtual student, which is defined as a child learning 50% or more of their instruction online. He said this means many schools would qualify for the lower funding amount because of moving classes online.

"Schools should be focused on doing what's best for kids," Behning said. "As they face challenges brought on by the pandemic, decisions to temporarily shift to virtual learning should not be based on worries of losing critical funding, but on keeping students and educators safe."     

House Bill 1003, supported by Behning, Thompson and State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon), would help mitigate requirements under current law and allow K-12 public schools to receive 100% funding for each student, whether they attended classes in-person or virtually.

"We strongly support fully funding all students enrolled in the state’s public schools, whether they’re attending class in-person or online due to the pandemic," Steuerwald said. "We appreciate our local schools and how hard they have worked to ensure the students in Hendricks County continue to thrive."

The legislation now advances to the Senate for consideration. To learn more and watch legislative proceedings online, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

State Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) represents House District 40,
which includes a portion of Hendricks County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo. 

State Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton) represents House District 28,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Boone counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.