Leising: Senate budget increases K-12 funding

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — The Indiana Senate Republican caucus recently unveiled our budget proposal to fund state government for the next two years.Most importantly, the Senate Republican budget plan is balanced and maintains healthy “rainy day” reserves. Aside from anything else we do as a state, I believe it’s imperative that we keep Indiana’s budget balanced.The Senate Republican budget continues Indiana’s track record of putting K-12 education first by devoting over half of General Fund spending to our schools. Total funding for K-12 education would reach over $17 billion – a $775 million increase over the current state budget.Other highlights of the Senate Republican budget plan include:Providing $75 million to support the expansion of broadband internet access in rural communities.Increasing funding for Teacher Appreciation Grants (TAGs), which are cash stipends that go directly to teachers, to $90 million – a $30 million increase over the last state budget. The Senate budget would specifically support new teachers by directing schools to use at least one-third of their TAGs for teachers with less than 5 years of experience.Fully funding the Department of Child Services (DCS) budget request, and requiring DCS to increase payments to families who adopt foster children.Continuing to fight drug abuse by increasing funds for addiction treatment of low-level criminal offenders, and funding a new State Police drug-testing lab that will help law enforcement better investigate drug crimes.Providing over $52 million to workforce development training programs and initiatives.For more information on the Senate Republican budget proposal, click here.last_img

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