Letter: Article shines light on real needs of teachers, schools



I would like to thank the staff of Current in Carmel for their excellent reporting in the May 23 edition about HB 1177. Specifically, I appreciate Current’s reporting on one of the most concerning aspects of this legislation – the funding for this program is coming from the state’s budget at a time when our schools and teachers are begging for more financial support.

The authors of the most recent Indiana state budget claim they are investing in Indiana’s schools by providing an 8 percent increase in overall K-12 school funding. But many school districts, like Carmel Clay Schools, will not actually see that increase. The state’s two-year budget also provides a 69 percent funding increase for voucher schools in the first year and 14 percent the second year. Carmel schools will see only a 5.5 percent increase the first year and an even smaller 1.5 percent increase the second.

Additionally, for many schools, new requirements in the budget effectively represent an unfunded mandate. The state is now requiring schools to pay the tuition and fees for students that have previously been parents’ responsibility. This is an important win for Hoosier parents, but Indiana’s supermajority did not provide schools with enough extra money to cover these new costs. Schools, like CCS, are left on their own to figure out how to cover this budget gap.

With our continued teacher shortages and rising inflation, I hope next year our legislature can find a way to truly support teachers and meet our schools’ budgetary needs.

Matt McNally, Westfield, candidate for Indiana House District 39