General Assembly Questions
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
GENERAL ASSEMBLY QUESTIONS
IASBO has received questions regarding two specific language sections in HEA 1001, state budget. The first deals with the kindergarten date change for ADM counts. The second regards the Governor’s TRF reduction plan.
First, IASBO thanks Terry Spradlin, ISBA Executive Director, for sharing the following information regarding the kindergarten count change. IASBO thanks Lisa Tanselle, ISBA General Counsel, for preparing the following information.
“Several questions have arisen as to the legislative changes in the enrollment of kindergarten students for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years. We offer the following guidance:
HEA 1001, SECTION 223 (the budget bill), amended IC 20-43-4-5 and will allow school corporations to include certain kindergarten students in its Average Daily Membership (ADM) count. Specifically, effective June 29, 2019, a school corporation will be allowed to include in its ADM count a student who turns 5 on or before September 1, 2019 and is enrolled in kindergarten. For the 2020-2021 school year, a school corporation will be allowed to include in its ADM count a student who turns 5 on or before October 1, 2020.
However, there was no change to the kindergarten entrance law, specifically IC 20-33-2-7, which requires students to be at least 5 by August 1 to officially enroll in kindergarten.
Reading the two statutes together, ISBA has advised that, pursuant to IC 20-33-2-7:
1. To enroll in kindergarten, a student must be at least 5 years old on August 1 of the year of enrollment.
2. Schools may adopt a procedure that would allow the parents of a student who turns 5 after August 1 to appeal to the superintendent for enrollment in kindergarten. Schools may continue to use their discretion, consistent with their early entrance appeal procedures, to determine whether any student who turns 5 after August 1 should be enrolled in kindergarten.
Pursuant to IC 20-43-4-5, any school corporation that adopts an early enrollment procedure and admits a student who turns 5 after August 1 may include in its count for ADM purposes the student who turns 5 by September 1 in 2019. In 2020, the student must turn 5 by October 1 in order to be counted for state support.
In summary, a school corporation must admit a student who turns 5 by August 1. The school retains the discretion to admit any student who turns 5 after date, abiding by its early entrance appeal procedure. Pursuant to the appeal procedure, any student could be admitted, but only those students who turn 5 by September 1 in 2019 may be counted for ADM purposes, and only those students who turn 5 by October 1 in 2020 may be counted for ADM purposes.
Please feel free to contact the ISBA Legal Staff if you have additional questions. Lisa Tanselle, 317-639-4359 (direct number)”
The second question is as follows: Is the decrease in TRF payments from 7.5% to 5.5% in Governor Holcomb’s TRF reduction plan only for the next two years? The answer is NO. The reduction that will be approved by the INPRS Board will continue into the future. It is important to note that the current 7.5% rate has not changed for several years and it did not change during the Great Recession.