News & Press: IASBO News


Wednesday, October 16, 2019  
Posted by: Ella Adamson


Section 264 of HEA 1001 (2019) states the following: “The legislative council is urged to assign to an appropriate interim study committee, for study during the 2019 interim of the general assembly, the study of the complexity index used under IC 20-43-13 for providing funding to students enrolled in kindergarten through grade twelve (12).”


The legislative council did assign the study of the complexity index to the Interim Study Committee on Fiscal Policy.  The committee met yesterday to hold a public hearing on this topic.


Realizing the importance of this subject to Indiana public school funding, the following educational associations decided to commission a study of the complexity index with emphasis on potential revisions to the index:

  • Indiana School Boards Association
  • Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents
  • Indiana Association of School Business Officials
  • Indiana Urban Schools Association
  • Indiana Small & Rural Schools Association

The associations commissioned Dr. Robert K. Toutkoushian, a professor in the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia, to complete a study of the complexity index.  Dr. Toutkoushian has a Ph.D. in economics from Indiana University and he has specialized in the study of education finance and economic issues.  Prior to his appointment at the University of Georgia, Dr. Toutkoushian served as a professor in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department at Indiana University.  Through the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University, he worked with representatives from the four caucuses in the Indiana legislature from 2003 to 2009 to examine the state’s funding formula and evaluate the impacts of proposed changes in the funding formula.


At yesterday’s hearing, the committee heard from the groups and/or individuals:  

  • National Conference of State Legislatures and the Urban Institute (review of national trends regarding at-risk funding)
  • Legislative Services Agency (history of Indiana’s at-risk funding)
  • Dr. Robert Toutkoushian (presented the joint study)
  • Dr. David Marcotte, IUSA Executive Director, (presented IUSA’s report on how urban schools spend at-risk funding; David was joined by Kathy Friend, CFO, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Weston Young, CFM, Indianapolis Public Schools)
  • Dr. Jeff Butts, Superintendent of MSD of Wayne Township (presented complexity index data for the Marion County Advocacy for Children and he was joined by Flora Reichanadter, Superintendent at MSD of Pike Township)
  • Gail Zeheralis, ISTA and a teacher from MSD of Washington Township (presented what teachers see every day regarding at-risk students)
  • Sally Sloat, IFT (presented her association’s position on at-risk funding)
  • 3 parent advocates who asked for more financial support for at-risk students

The committee took no action on this issue.


Click HERE for Dr. Toutkoushian’s report (“Funding for At-Risk Students in Indiana: Issues and Recommendations”) for your review.