INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education submitted its budget request earlier this week. The budget calls for increases in school funding over current levels for each of the next two years and reduces costs paid by parents. Specifically, it requests a 3% increase from the current biennial budget for public education. In addition, the budget reduces costs paid by parents by including funding for textbooks and instructional materials. Indiana is currently one of only eight states that requires parents to pay for textbook rentals and instructional materials.
In addition to the submission, Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, issued the following statement:
“As a state, our chief priority is to ensure our future shared prosperity. No one factor is more important to that prosperity than ensuring that our educational system is equitable and of the highest quality. This investment will strengthen schools throughout Indiana, both rural and urban.
“As Superintendent, I am requesting a sensible and modest increase in funding over current levels for each of the next two years. This increase will give our schools much needed flexibility in their budgets while they deal with increases in their fixed costs, such as transportation, utilities and technology. I look forward to working with members of the Legislature on this vital investment.
“In addition, I am very concerned with the costs that parents pay associated with the education of their children. Our constitution provides for a general and uniform school system that is equally open to all. That is why we have requested funding for textbook rentals and instructional materials for all students. By funding these at the state level, we can guarantee that all districts have equitable resources for texts while also giving parents a much needed financial break.”
The draft budget was submitted to the Indiana Budget Agency this week. The final budget will be voted on next year by the Indiana General Assembly.