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Holcomb plan faulted over school funding hike

GOP legislative leaders have talked about the importance of finding ways to address Indiana's lagging teacher salaries.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 2:00 PM
Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 6:05 AM

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb is proposing a modest increase in school funding that is unlikely to provide much of an immediate boost for teacher pay.

The Republican governor and GOP legislative leaders have talked about the importance of finding ways to address Indiana's lagging teacher salaries, but Holcomb's budget proposal released Thursday recommends just a 2 percent increase for public schools each of the next two years.

State fiscal analysts project tax revenues will grow by about 2.5 percent both budget years. Holcomb proposes much of that money going toward allowing the state's troubled Department of Child Services to keep hundreds of new caseworkers added over the last few years and an expected jump in state costs for the Medicaid program for low-income families.

A Democratic senator says Indiana school districts will keep falling behind financially under the funding increase proposed by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage is the Senate Democrats' budget leader. She says Holcomb's proposal doesn't do anything toward reaching the goal of boosting teacher pay because it doesn't get schools ahead of the inflation rate.

School district lobbyist Dennis Costerison says Holcomb's proposal is a good start but that education funding has lagged behind inflation in recent years.

The Republican-dominated Legislature has until late April to approve a new two-year state budget taking effect in July.

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