House Democrats say the state budget proposed by House Republicans will devastate many public schools throughout the state. The budget passed overwhelmingly in a House vote Tuesday.
House Republicans named education their top focus this session, and the bulk of debate over the budget revolves around education funding.
Specifically, it involves changes to the school funding formula that seek to help growing, wealthier suburban school districts. But those changes would mean significantly less money for poor, inner city schools that are losing students.
House budget architect Tim Brown says the purpose of that shift is to ensure at-risk students in Zionsville and Carmel schools are funded like at-risk kids in Gary and Indianapolis.
“That those children at a disadvantage are looked at with equal opportunity and we can fund them equally,” Brown said.
But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he’s tired of the argument that schools losing students should lose dollars.
“They’re losing students because you are cutting them, time after time after time,” Pelath said.
The budget passed 68 to 29 along party lines. It now heads to the Senate.