As Indiana lawmakers go forward with crafting a budget, I thought it would be fun to present to you some facts about schools and school funding here in Indiana to help keep the debate in perspective.
I’m doing this because one thing you’ll hear in the debate is how the Republicans “cut” $300 million from schools in 2009. That is true, but you also know what else was going on in 2008-2009? As my progressive friends like to say, it was the worst economy since the Great Depression, and after then Governor Mitch Daniels had cut every virtually every other area.
This is important because school funding makes up more than half the state budget. In fact…
- In 2010, the State of Indiana spent $6.3 billion annually on schools. That number is expected to be nearly $7 billion by 2017. (House GOP budget proposal)
- In 2010, schools got an average of $4,250 per student at the basic foundation level. By 2017, that number would be $5,135 under the House Republican proposed budget. (House GOP Budget Proposal)
- 69 counties are expected to lose K-12 student population between now and 2020. (House GOP Budget Proposal)
- A Ball State University study found that more than half of Indiana’s school districts had less than 2,000 students. And nearly 80% of those school districts lost at least 100 students between 2006 and 2012. (Ball State Center for Business & Education Research)
- Indiana has about 1 million students enrolled in K-12 education, only 29,000 students are enrolled in the state’s voucher program. (Institute for Quality Education)
- There were 71 charter schools operating in Indiana in the 2012-13 school year and had an enrollment of about 30,000 students. (IN Charter School Board)
So as the school funding debate goes forward, just keep some of those facts in mind.