The announcement came prior to the Revenue Forecast Technical Committee meeting. The updated revenue forecast predicts Indiana will receive more than what was projected under prior forecasts.
"Education is and always has been our main focus," said Rep. Bob Cherry (R-Greenfield) today. "When creating a budget, education is where the majority of our funding goes and should go. But in the current economy, the amount we had to work with was not what we would have liked to have seen.
"With this morning's revenue forecast announcement that showed an increase in revenue, we are finally able to start to get back on track. This is a positive announcement for the entire state.
"This increase in funding is a result of putting our state to be one of the first to rebound from the current economic conditions. We need to continue to be conscious of our spending," said Rep. Cherry.
The increased revenues in addition to prudent reserve balances prove that the disciplined financial efforts by Republicans in the General Assembly and the governor are paying off for the State of Indiana.
Education currently makes-up more than 50 percent of the state's budget, and a portion of K-12 education was cut in 2009 due to fiscal revenue being severely low.
While Indiana carefully begins to increase funding for education, many other states across the nation have had to continue to make dramatic cuts to education funding. In Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Pennsylvania, funding for K-12 education was cut by 10 percent.
Even though $150 million dollar increase is not fully restoring the cuts that were made, due to the unknown financial climate the Speaker stated there is still a need to be prudent. Education is the only area in the state budget that will now show an increase in funding.
A quarter of the $150 million will be used to complete the extension of full-day kindergarten to every school district in the state. A smaller fund will go toward a "teacher excellence" fund, which will reward teachers through pay-based on performance, not seniority.
"Our Caucus' core value continues to be fiscal integrity. Because of that primary goal we are able to forward our commitment to K-12 education and put an emphasis on early education," said Speaker Bosma.