INDIANAPOLIS -- Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said K-12 schools will be “spared the knife” in terms of budget cuts -- committing to full funding for the fiscal year starting in July.
He said prioritizing K-12 -- which accounts for more than half of the state budget -- is only possible because of prudent financial decisions in recent years building up reserves.
“We worked very hard to get to yes,” Holcomb said of collaborative discussions with legislative leaders and state education officials.
Schools are expected to get a $183 million increase this year under the current budget starting July 1.
State agencies have already been asked to cut 15% -- a savings of up to $900 million.
And higher education received a 7% cut -– or about $103 million.
Holcomb and key GOP leaders also affirmed that schools will receive full funding for students who choose to use a remote learning option related to COVID-19 concerns. Current state law says if a student receives 50% or more of instruction virtually then the school district only gets 85% funding. The legislature will have to retroactively tweak the law when it returns in January.
The governor said he hopes the news relieves some anxiety schools were feeling as they plan to reopen in the fall.