Southwest Allen County Schools Hosts Funding Discussions

Dec 3, 2015

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

Southwest Allen County Schools is trying something new to get the community talking about school funding options.

Residents gathered at Deer Ridge Elementary Wednesday night to discuss different methods of funding American public schools.

The Southwest Allen County School district is holding three community gatherings and roundtables over the next week to discuss funding issues for public schools not just in Indiana, but also around the country.

Superintendent Dr. Phil Downs says the goal is to create a dialogue between the school board, parents and other stakeholders on school funding options.

“What we’re hoping for is some community discussion around different philosophies of school funding, and particularly a conversation about the tradeoffs of each so that they are informed about how funding works in the school system,” said Downs.

Three different funding options were presented for discussion: funding with state and local money, allowing families to choose their schools, and simply leaving the funding responsibility to school districts.

After an hour and a half of discussion, the consensus leaned toward state and local funding with a little more local control than the current system.

Two more workshop events will be held in the next week, with one at Lafayette Meadows Elementary tonight at 7 pm and another on Tuesday at Woodside Middle School.