INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Republicans rejected a proposal on Tuesday ensuring Indiana schools have the resources needed to provide full-day kindergarten for every Hoosier student. The amendment to the state’s two-year budget would have counted kindergarten students as full-time students for funding purposes and was rejected on the Senate floor along party lines.
“The Senate budget took a step back in terms of funding full-day kindergarten,” said Tallian. “We missed an opportunity here to give schools the resources they need to provide quality kindergarten programs. Frankly, we’re being cheap and it’s costing our kids.”
The amendment would have directed about $38 million in state Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and $44 million in FY2017 to schools to fund full-day kindergarten. Per-student funding is determined using poverty indicators. The amendment would have helped offset nearly $250 million cut from funding directed to schools serving high-poverty areas and redistributed to other schools.
“This was a win-win, a way of directing dollars to schools adversely impacted by cuts to the complexity index and ensuring we can provide the very best education – starting with full-day kindergarten – to every Hoosier student,” said Tallian.
House Bill 1001 must clear a final vote in the Senate on Wednesday before returning to the House of Representatives. It’s widely expected that House authors will dissent and the budget will move to conference committee for additional negotiations.
Sen. Tallian represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County and Michigan, Coolspring and New Durham townships in LaPorte County. For more information on Sen. Tallian, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s4.