UPDATE: The Senate budget bill now includes the same expansion to Indiana’s voucher program that the House approved last month. The Senate added the voucher provision as an amendment late Monday. It approved the budget today. Differences between the two versions will be worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.
The Indiana Senate took some modest steps in the right direction with the state budget that it approved last week. For education, it improves on the House-approved version on several counts.
- The Senate budget bill allocates more money for K-12 schools: an increase of 2.7% in the first year of the biennium and 2.2% in the second year versus 2.2% each year for the House version.
- It keeps more of the funding with public schools and brick-and-mortar charter schools, spending less on virtual charter schools.
- It provides a little more money for “complexity,” the factor in the funding formula that gives more money to schools serving disadvantaged students.