Indiana Secretary of Education thanks General Assembly, Governor for commitment to Hoosier students & educators

Last Updated on April 20, 2021 by Indiana Department of Education

SOURCE: News release from Indiana Department of Education

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner released this statement commending the Indiana General Assembly and Governor Eric J. Holcomb for their commitment to students and educators in Indiana’s biennial budget:

“In Indiana’s budget, all Hoosier kids win,” said Secretary Jenner. “With an historic $1.9 billion in new K-12 education dollars over the biennium, Indiana’s school funding increases are enabling Indiana’s schools to strategically invest in our students as well as our educators. This transformational funding increase, in addition to the influx of more than $3 billion in emergency federal funding, puts our schools on solid footing to accelerate beyond the challenges of the last year and ensure each and every Hoosier student is prepared for lifelong success. 

“Hoosier educators in particular should benefit from this budget as the General Assembly embraced a range of recommendations set by the Teacher Compensation Commission. These efforts will be critical to increasing teacher pay, strengthening Indiana’s teacher pipeline, and attracting and retaining our best and brightest to this purposeful, difference-making profession.

“This student-centered, future-focused budget prioritizes Indiana’s schools, creating immense opportunities for every Hoosier student, in every Hoosier school, and in every Hoosier community.”

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer issued the following statement on this afternoon’s state budget announcement from Governor Eric Holcomb, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, and House Speaker Todd Huston:

“There’s no other way to describe today’s budget announcement than historic. From record investments in education to the creation of regional development grants, Governor Holcomb and legislative leaders have crafted a budget that invests in our people, our communities, our students, and our state unlike ever before. It doesn’t grow government, it pays off debt, and it continues to keep our tax burden low. I applaud the governor and our Republican supermajorities in both houses for such a transformational budget.”

The video of today’s budget announcement can be viewed here:

INDIANAPOLIS—On Tuesday, Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Eddie Melton (D-Gary) had the following response after Republican leadership announced their final version of the budget bill, House Bill 1001:

“One of the top priorities for my caucus this session has been passing a budget that works for all Hoosiers,” Sen. Melton said. “This past year has been difficult, and we came to the Statehouse with the mission of supporting the Hoosiers who have been hit hardest during this pandemic and addressing the issues this pandemic has either brought to light or exacerbated.

“It was a primary goal of my caucus to ensure this budget adequately invested in K-12 education to allow our schools to operate, thrive and provide salary increases to our educators. My caucus also fought for a minimum wage increase, increased wages for direct service providers, more support for food banks and adequate funding for mental health and addiction services, among other things.

“Following the release of the revenue forecast last week, my caucus called on the General Assembly to invest more into public education, and we’re pleased that Republican leadership is responding to those calls. 

“We have not seen a school run yet, but hopefully it will show that public schools will be much better off this upcoming biennium. 

“I’m glad that the supermajority has committed more money to the school funding formula. I remain critical of the increases that were made to school choice programs, however. These programs educate less than 10 percent of our students, and simply should not be receiving such a large chunk of the money allocated to educational funding. 

“Over the last several years, Indiana Senate Democrats have been persistent advocates for increased funding to public education and raises for our teachers. We’re especially pleased that after such a difficult year, where schools and teachers took on even more work amid this pandemic, our teachers will finally see their wages increase.  

“We’re also happy that our proposed wage increases for the people that provide direct service to Medicaid waiver clients and a significant funding boost for our food banks were accepted into this budget. 

“The increased support for essential items in HB 1001 is a victory for our caucus and for the Hoosiers of Indiana. This is why we fight, and why we will continue to fight.”