STATEHOUSE - Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) opposes House Bill 1723 because of a growing disparity in per-student funding across different corporations. The bill covers school spending for 2010.
Five of the school corporations in District 20 are LaPorte, New Prairie, South Central, West Central and Winamac. All are receiving considerably less per-student funding than some other corporations in the state, where per-student funding can reach more than $9,000.
Under the budget currently constructed by the House majority, students in New Prairie, for example, would receive roughly $5,900 per student, an increase of about $150 per student. Other districts are receiving over $9,000 per student are set to see increases of more than $400 per student.
"The difference in the amount of funding is staggering," said Rep. Dermody. "It's unacceptable for such a wide of a gap in the amount of per-student funding to exist. Students in District 20 deserve to be afforded the same benefits that we give to students of other school corporations in the state.
"We have schools in this state that have been returning federal money because they don't use it, yet we're sending those same districts bigger and bigger chunks of state money. Meanwhile, the schools in my district use their resources efficiently and are given less money as a result.
"We need to look at how all education dollars are spent, and make sure they're spent fairly and efficiently. There simply has to be more accountability across the board, because the current allocation system is unfair."