STATEHOUSE - State Rep. Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso) is applauding a joint announcement made Friday morning by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Speaker of the House Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) that, due to an increase in state revenues, funding for K-12 education in Indiana will be increased by $150 million in the upcoming state budget as well an extension of full-day kindergarten across the state.
Part of the additional funding will go toward providing full-day kindergarten programs at all schools in Indiana as well as an incentive fund to reward excellent teachers through the merit pay legislation currently going through the Indiana General Assembly.
The announcement came just ahead of a meeting of the Revenue Forecast Technical Committee and after a string of revenue updates that showed state revenues ahead of recent forecasts.
"I have worked towards a responsible budget with fiscal integrity," said Rep. Soliday. "Through efforts to maintain a responsible budget and live within our means, we continue to lead the nation out of this recession and make Hoosier children a top priority by investing in their education."
The partial increase in funding comes at a time when many other states are forced to make cuts to their education programs, such as Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Pennsylvania, who are all reducing their education funding by 10 percent or more.
"We faced some truly difficult cuts to education in 2009 due to revenues being significantly lower than expected due to the economic downturn. Fortunately, we are able to partially make up for those cuts today, and I don't know of any other state that is proposing an increase in education funding. I hope that the upward trend in our economy and state revenues continues so that we may give Hoosier children a solid start and provide them with a top quality education through K-12," said Rep. Soliday.