House Republican leaders say they’re confident they’ve made a significant education investment in their state budget proposal.
But that sentiment isn’t shared by lawmakers on the other side of the aisle.
The House GOP budget proposal increases K-12 education funding by a little more than two percent each year. That barely keeps pace with inflation.
But House Republican budget architect Rep. Todd Huston (R-Fishers) says their draft also backs Gov. Eric Holcomb’s plan to spend state reserve dollars to help reduce the amount schools pay into a teacher pension fund.
“We really dug deep," Huston says. "We left a lot of programs on the table that I’m sure other people are disappointed weren’t included because we wanted to show the foundational investment we were going to make in the K-12.”
But Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) questions how the GOP devotes its education funding resources.
“We always talk about what we’re doing is better than the last budget," Porter says. "But you say, ‘OK so, how much money is going for the vouchers? How much is going for charter schools?’”
The full House will vote on the budget in the coming days. Republicans hold a supermajority and need no Democratic votes to pass the legislation.