TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence presented his two year state budget plans.
His budget plan does something that the state hasn't seen in years: adds money for public education.
In 2009, Governor Mitch Daniels and the Indiana legislature cut more than $300 million from education in the state's budget. Some state representatives estimated more than 800 teachers lost their jobs from the cuts.
In the first budget proposal of Governor Mike Pence's administration, he wants to reverse the trend and put money back in education.
We sat down with Representative Clyde Kersey to get a look at the budget Governor Pence proposed.
Since the most recent economic recession began in 2008, this plan could be Indiana's first that looks to add money into education funds.
The plan calls for an increase in spending for K-12 public schools.
The change would add $63 million to education by 2014. Then, in 2015, an additional $64 million goes in that is earmarked for the best performing schools.
It all sounds like an astronomical amount of money, but to help put it in perspective, the change only increases educational spending by 1 percent.
Some lawmakers believe it's a start in the right direction; however, Representative Kersey said more is needed.
"It's just not enough. It won't even cover inflation. School teachers have not received a raise in the last 5 years. We need to put more than one percent. Hopefully, we can get two percent in there--or more--for our public schools," Kersey, a Democrat said. "So, that's why I'm hoping we have about a $28 billion budget."
Part of Governor Pence's budget also calls for a ten percent tax cut for all Hoosiers.
As far as that topic goes, both Republicans and Democrats revealed they're unsure about more tax cuts.
Some say they'd like to look at restoring funding to other programs first.
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