School Superintendents Monitor State Legislative Proposals

Local school superintendents are keeping an eye on some bills being considered by the Indiana General Assembly.

One of the big concerns is that the state hadn’t set aside enough money to distribute to local schools according to the state’s funding formula. West Central Superintendent Don Street says he’s watching the efforts currently underway to fix the problem. “There’s a bill going through that will allow some more money through the state Rainy Day Fund, surplus cash,” he explains. “That money will be allocated to schools to help us not have a deficit from what we had been promised or anticipated in getting, based upon our ADM and some of the other formulas involved with that.”

Meanwhile, Eastern Pulaski Superintendent Dan Foster says he’s keeping an eye on changes to the state’s A-to-F grading system. “If you’ve read any of the articles, basically about half of the State Board of Education didn’t know this was coming at that meeting, and yet, it got passed,” he says. “So now they’ll open public comments in a few weeks, and we’ll see where that goes. Hopefully, calmer heads will prevail, and it won’t be as bad as we think.”

But beyond that, Foster says there are some bills that aren’t specifically related to education, but would still have a big impact on public schools. During Monday’s school board meeting, Foster highlighted two different Senate bills that aim to raise Indiana’s minimum wage. “That’s going to hit us in the budget, and where does that money come from? We’re a tax-based organization. We don’t have the option to go raise our prices.”

Senate Bill 308 proposes raising the minimum hourly wage to $11.31, while Senate Bill 121 would gradually raise it up to $15 between now and 2021