General Assembly Activities
Friday, March 15, 2019
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES
Senate Appropriations K-12 School Funding Sub-Committee
The sub-committee met on Thursday morning to hear testimony from the K-12 community regarding HB 1001, state budget. The sub-committee is composeD of the following Senators: Bassler (chair), Raatz, Brown, Charbonneau, Melton, and Tallion. A total of 38 individuals testified over the four hour forty minute hearing. The educational associations, numerous teachers, seven superintendents, four parents, and voucher supporters testified. One CFO, Kathy Friend from Fort Wayne, also testified.
Indiana ASBO continued to emphasize a minimum state-wide tuition support increase of a minimum of 2.5%. Other issues IASBO emphasized were as follows:
- The foundation grant must be increased to provide new funding for all school corporations
- The state-wide decrease of 14.5% in the complexity index must be dealt with
- One ADM count for the school distribution formula
- Support the House increases for special education preschool grant; secured safety grant, and ELL funding
- Continue the teacher appreciation grant $30 million funding
- Support Governor Holcomb’s program to reduce the TRF contribution payment
- Support the move of the kindergarten date
- Continue the funding of the school business official leadership academy
- Do not support the expansion of the voucher program
- Do not support the increase in the charter school grant
All who testified emphasized the need for additional funding for K-12 education. The sub-committee asked numerous questions and listened as each person presented their individual issues. The Senate Republicans will now begin the preparation of their version of HB 1001 which should be presented in the next couple of weeks.
Senate Education Committee
The committee met on Wednesday afternoon to hear HB 1003, school corporation expenditure targets. This is the bill that creates a minimum 15% guideline for transfers from the Education Fund to the Operation Fund. Fully supporting the bill were several teachers and the ISTA. Questioning certain sections of HB 1003 were: IAPSS, IASBO, ISBA, IUSA, ISRSA, and ICPE. The bill was held until next week.
House Ways & Means Committee
SB 127, school safety referendum, was heard on Wednesday night in the committee. The bill creates a new referendum procedure specifically for safety issues with a maximum rate increase of 10 cents. This referendum is for 10 years. Testifying in favor of the bill were IASBO (also speaking for ISBA) and the DOE. The bill was held until next week.
HB 1021 Advocacy
If your school corporation is one of the 71 districts that will lose the circuit breaker waiver because of the amendment to HB 1021, please contact your Senator and alert them of the negative impact to your corporation. The bill will be eligible for second reading on Monday.