By: Keith Klein (Photo: Jenna Watson, Indy Star)
Indiana’s Senate president, Rod Bray, has warned school leaders that state law caps per-pupil funding for students – who take at least half their classes virtually – at 85% of normal basic tuition support.
That means school districts offering only online instruction because of COVID-19 could lose 15% of their basic per-student funding, equivalent to losing $855 – per pupil. Bray did not clarify whether the cut would apply to schools operating online for only part of the school year, or to schools that want to open but aren’t able because of mandates from their county health department.
At least 31 districts already plan to start online, State School Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said. She is calling on Gov. Holcomb to hold a special legislative session to “honor the promise he made to Hoosier children to provide sustainable funding to K-12 schools.”
Holcomb and other state leaders promised in June, that public schools would remain fully funded regardless of whether students are attending class in-person or online. The Governor said, in a statement to The Associated Press, his position on school funding had not changed.
“As I’ve said before, I am committed to providing 100% funding to schools as they navigate the unprecedented challenges of opening the academic year during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Most Americans have accepted the pandemic will make their home a place of work and learning when the school year starts. Six out of 10 Americans said they, likely, will be working from home this fall, according to a Harris Poll.
Home will likely be a hub of learning, too. Two-thirds of Americans said they don’t expect their kids will be in school this fall and will take courses online from home.
82% say it is unlikely they will travel over the Labor Day holiday. 79% say it’s unlikely they will travel by air this fall. 75% of those surveyed said they are more likely, now, to wear a mask in public and socially distance than last month, the poll found.