The Latest: Holcomb plan faulted over school funding hike

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s state budget proposal (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

A Democratic senator says Indiana school districts will keep falling behind financially under the funding increase proposed by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The Republican governor’s budget plan released Thursday would give a 2 percent increase to public schools each of the next two years.

Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage is the Senate Democrats’ budget leader. She says Holcomb’s proposal doesn’t do anything toward reaching the goal of boosting teacher pay because it doesn’t get schools ahead of the inflation rate.

School district lobbyist Dennis Costerison says Holcomb’s proposal is a good start but that education funding has lagged behind inflation in recent years.

The Republican-dominated Legislature has until late April to approve a new two-year state budget taking effect in July.

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10:08 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is proposing a modest increase in school funding that is unlikely to provide much of an immediate boost for teacher pay.

The Republican governor and GOP legislative leaders have talked about the importance of finding ways to address Indiana’s lagging teacher salaries, but Holcomb’s budget proposal released Thursday recommends just a 2 percent increase for public schools each of the next two years.

State fiscal analysts project tax revenues will grow by about 2.5 percent both budget years. Holcomb proposes much of that money going toward allowing the state’s troubled Department of Child Services to keep hundreds of new caseworkers added over the last few years and an expected jump in state costs for the Medicaid program for low-income families.

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5:40 a.m.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is releasing its recommendations for the new state budget, including how much more money could go toward public schools.

Holcomb administration officials are scheduled to make their presentation Thursday to the State Budget Committee.

State fiscal analysts project tax revenues will grow by about 2.5 percent each year for the new two-year budget starting in July. But much of that money is expected to go toward allowing the state’s troubled Department of Child Services to keep hundreds of new caseworkers added over the last few years and an expected jump in state costs for the Medicaid program for low-income families.

Holcomb and fellow Republicans want to protect the state’s $1.8 billion budget surplus , which Democrats suggest should be tapped to boost teacher pay.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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