House GOP proposes slight school boost in Indiana budget

("old school" by alamosbasement, CC BY 2.0 )

Indiana schools would see a slight additional funding increase under a budget proposal from majority House Republicans.

The plan advanced Tuesday by the GOP-controlled House Ways and Means Committee on a 15-6 vote would increase school funding by 2.1 percent the first year and 2.2 percent the second year of the new two-year state budget.

Gov. Eric Holcomb had proposed 2 percent increases.

The Republican governor and GOP legislative leaders have touted the importance of finding ways to address Indiana’s lagging teacher salaries, but Democrats have argued their proposals are “recession-type numbers” not even surpassing inflation.

Education advocacy groups estimate a 9 percent funding increase would be needed to boost average teacher pay to the midpoint of Indiana’s neighboring states.

The House and Senate have until late April to approve a state spending plan.