FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Governor, legislative leaders move solution forward to assure 100 percent
funding for Indiana’s K-12 schools
INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced today that he will
ask the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) to take action to ensure
that Indiana’s K-12 schools receive 100 percent of funding as he
committed earlier this summer.
Gov. Holcomb will ask SBOE to call a special meeting for the purpose of
taking action to delay the fall count of student enrollment, commonly
known as the Average Daily Membership, through at least December. The
count date is currently scheduled for Sept. 18. IC 20-43-4-3 allows SBOE
to take action to change the count date for, among other reasons, when
there are extreme patterns of illness.
The ADM count, which is completed twice a year, is used to set new funding
levels for schools. The count requires school districts to designate students
who receive at least 50 percent of their instruction virtually as virtual
students. School corporations in Indiana receive 85 percent of the foundation
formula dollars distributed for virtual students.
Concern has been raised in recent days that schools electing to begin the
academic year by providing virtual-only instruction because of the changing
coronavirus conditions in Indiana would receive 85 percent of funding
for all of their students once the count date occurs.
“Together with Speaker Huston and Pro Tem Bray, I have asked the
State Board of Education to exercise this statutory authority to secure
full funding to schools,” said Gov. Holcomb. “There has been
a great deal of conversation around school funding in the last five days.
It is clear that Speaker Huston and Pro Tem Bray share my commitment to
fund schools to the full extent during this uncertain and unprecedented
In the next several days, the governor’s office, with House and Senate
leaders, will work with the State Board of Education and the Department
of Education on the details of a resolution for SBOE members to consider.
“This solution will put to rest lingering questions or concerns so
schools can continue to focus on opening schools safely and educating
Indiana’s students,” said Gov. Holcomb.
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said:
"An important issue with the current school funding law has been discussed
over the past several days. This provision of the law (IC 20-43-6-3) requires
that students receiving 50 percent or more of their education virtually
are currently funded at a lower level than students receiving their education
in the school building. This law predates the COVID-19 pandemic and is
automatic without some action to address its application under current
circumstances. We believe that the State Board of Education has the authority
under existing law to adjust schools' student count date to allow
schools to receive 100 percent of their per-student funding. In the next
legislative session, the General Assembly can take a fresh look at these
statutes in light of the pandemic to ensure schools are adequately funded."
House Speaker Todd Huston said:
“House Republicans remain resolute in our commitment to provide schools
with 100% of their funding during these unprecedented times. Due to recent
concerns with the mechanism to provide full funding, we have all agreed
that the proper course going forward is to support the State Board of
Education in utilizing their statutory authority, which allows flexibility
to change the enrollment count date during uncertain times, to ensure
schools receive their full funding. We are so thankful for the efforts
of our school officials and teachers who have been working tirelessly
to serve students and open schools for this academic year.”