Budget reflects priorities – leaky bucket of school funding
It’s another budget session–one where we get to see the priorities of Indiana’s legislature. We see already that charters and vouchers will likely wind up as winners. In fact, of the new money proposed in the House’s version of the education budget, 37% of it will go to private, mostly religious schools in the form of vouchers. The budget legislation would expand the voucher program to include families that make up to 7.4 times the federal poverty level: $222,000 next year for a family of four. Overall, the state would spend $1.1 billion on vouchers over two years, double the current spending rate.
While legislators love to brag about “historic” increases in the education budget, public schools’ funding increases barely keep up with inflation. Why? It’s because so much is DIVERTED out of the K-12 Tuition Support Fund before public schools get what’s left. We call it the “leaky bucket” of funding. Look closely at this graphic. Spend a little time with it. Nearly $4 billion has been diverted out of the tuition support fund over the last decade! Where did that money go? As you can see, billions went to fund school privatization efforts.
ICPE advocates for separate line items for different forms of schools in the state budget, but people in power refuse to do that. Maybe they don’t want you to notice.
Stay tuned to our calls to action as we head into the second half of this budget session!
Here is a pdf version for those who like to print.