Monday, April 8, 2013

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #130– April 8, 2013

Dear Friends,

The Senate budget proposal unveiled last Thursday (April 4th) gave less money for funding Indiana schools than did the House budget. This is disappointing. This gives Senators more reason to defeat the voucher expansion bill so that the money that is budgeted for the school funding formula won’t be reduced by another $17 million to pay for private school vouchers going to students who are already going to private schools.

Tuition Support in the Senate Budget

Here are the numbers on the biggest line item in the budget: Tuition Support

...........Actual Current Year....Next Year....Increase....2nd Year....2nd Year Increase
.................FY2013...........FY2014...................FY2015......(compared w/2013)
Senate budget:...$6.490 Billion...$6.614 B.....$124 M......$6.679 B.....$189 M
House budget:....$6.500 B.........$6.632 B.....$132 M......$6.701 B.....$201 M

As you can see, the Senate simply allocates fewer dollars for tuition support compared to the House, by a total of $20 million over the two-year budget cycle.

Also, the Senate used a different figure for the actual expenditure in the current year, $6.490 Billion. That is $10 million less than the House figure for the current year. The reason for the disagreement on how much Indiana will actually spend in this current year on education is not clear.

Legislative leaders like to add the increases together over the two year budget to make the figure look bigger. This table shows the increases one year at a time.

Once again it must be emphasized that there is no line item for vouchers. Since HB 1003 has a fiscal cost of $17 million to pay for vouchers for students who have never been in a public school, that money comes off the top from the tuition support budget, siphoning a significant amount from what the public schools might get. Senators concerned about funding for public schools should say “No!” to voucher expansion so that the entire amount budgeted for tuition support can go to public schools.

One Million and Fourteen Reasons to Reject Voucher Expansion

Perhaps the figures above form the 15th reason to turn down HB 1003, adding to the fourteen reasons sent out in Vic’s Statehouse Notes #129. A handout is attached with those 14 reasons. Please use it or your own appeals to Senators before the final vote on HB 1003, which will come on either Tuesday April 9th or Wednesday April 10th.

Senators who voted against Vouchers in 2011.
Say NO! to Voucher Expansion.

Thanks for all you do for public education! With your help in contacting Senators, it is possible to defeat House Bill 1003 on the floor vote.

Best wishes,

Vic Smith

ICPE is working to promote public education and oppose privatization of schools in the Statehouse. I keep hearing reports that some public school supporters read these “Notes” with great interest but don’t translate that interest into joining ICPE. To keep our outstanding lobbyist Joel Hand in place, who is vigorously working against voucher expansion in the Senate, we need all members from last year to renew and we need new members who support public education. Please join us!

Go to for membership and renewal information.

Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.