[r51] Rep. Dodge Supports Education Funding (2/25/2010)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Start Date: 2/25/2010 All Day
End Date: 2/25/2010

STATEHOUSE - Senate Bill 309 which concerns education funding, passed in the House with a vote of 83-16. The bill would allow schools to transfer money between certain funds into their general operating fund. Schools would be allowed to transfer those funds if they agreed to avoid terminating any school employees, other than for a permitted cause.

"Education is a top priority and supporting our schools through this tough economic time is the goal of this legislation," said State Rep. Dick Dodge (R-Pleasant Lake). "Funds are limited and teachers' jobs should not be put on the line. By transferring funds, this should lessen the burden and protect teachers' jobs."

Currently, Indiana Code prohibits money transfers from certain school funds to their general operating funds. Funds that schools would be able to transfer would be from transportation, capital projects, schools bus replacement, technology, levy excess, repair and replacement, and self-insurance. This provision would not force a property tax increase.

Schools would only be allowed to transfer funds at an amount less than or equal to each school's reduction in their 2010 and 2011 tuition support distributions.  Transfers would not be allowed after December 31, 2011.In addition, the following amendments were added to the bill on second reading in the House:

  • Schools that authorized the construction of a new facility before July 1, 2009, approved a certain amount to fund the new facility, and also received approval from the Department of Local Government Finance would be allowed to transfer funds from transportation, capital projects, school bus replacement, and debt service to the school's general operating fund to be used for the new facility.

 

  • Senate Bill 309 would also mandate any general fund revenue received by the state that exceeds the projected amount in December 2009 to be distributed to schools as special supplemental tuition support in 2010 and 2011.