VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A state budget proposal that includes a 3 percent increase in total funding for education is getting a cool reception in southern Indiana.
That's because the funding formula tied to the proposal would find most schools in the area losing money.
Both school officials and area lawmakers are panning the proposed plan.
State lawmakers now are looking at a budget that includes a 3 percent increase for education funding over the next 2 years, but the way the money is divided up is causing some concerns.
Vincennes will receive about one percent more state funding, but State Representative Kreg Battles says rural schools will get less.
"If you take Shakamak, if you take North Knox, if you take South Knox, if you take Southwest Sullivan or Northeast Sullivan, every one of those school corporations sees a loss in funding from 0.4 percent to 2.7 percent."
South Knox is looking at funding cuts of less than one percent but even that amount is going to be tough to recover.
"We're trying to keep the belts tightened," said South Knox School Superintendent Tim Grove, "but you get to a certain point and there's no more notches to put into the belt."
With the state is raising the total education budget by 3 percent and rural schools a losing money, the question is where is all that money going."
The answer is mostly to school systems far from southern Indiana, to the fast growing suburban schools around Indianapolis.
"I think what gives me great concern is instead of our local tax dollars coming back to our communities funding our local schools, we're seeing our tax dollars being sent to a very affluent part of the state," said Battles.
A move that if approved by the full legislature will leave even less money to keep rural schools afloat in the Wabash Valley.
Officials say under the budget proposal 230 of the 290 school systems in Indiana will wind up receiving less funding.
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