The House Budget supports Indiana education
STATEHOUSE —Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) supports the education proposals in House Bill (HB) 1001, Indiana’s biennial budget. The budget has a strong focus on investing in education, bridging the skills gap, building and maintaining infrastructure, protecting the vulnerable, protecting taxpayers and maintaining fiscal integrity.
"The House’s budget supports Indiana’s schools with a large investment in K-12 funding, and more than restores the budget to what it was before the economic recession caused us to scale back. Nothing is more important than giving our schools the resources needed to teach our state’s future leaders, and this budget prioritizes students in the classroom,” said Rep. Behning.
HB 1001 will increase the allotted education funding by $354 million. In addition to this amount, $150 million will be added in each year of the biennium to the Tuition Reserve Fund, which acts as an education insurance policy in case of an economic slowdown. Of the money allocated to education. $16.7 million will be distributed based on performance to high achieving school corporations and teachers.
More tax dollars will funnel to early education funding full day kindergarten and a Pre-K pilot program. Higher education will see a significant boost as $197 million will be invested in new infrastructure without adding a penny of debt saving taxpayers millions of dollars in interest over the next several decades. College financial aid will also see an increase. The Frank O’Bannon Scholarship will have individual awards increased by 5 percent and additional funding will be given to the National Guard Scholarships.
HB 1001 includes a STEM teacher recruitment fund to place those teachers in the schools that need them most. The bill will also designate $6 million a year towards dropout prevention programs.
“We have talked a lot about how we want to increase school funding, and this budget shows that we want to take action on those talks,’’ said Rep. Behning. “The Education Committee has worked closely with the Ways and Means Committee to craft a budget that puts an emphasis on the future of Indiana’s students and the sustainability of that funding.”