Trevor Peters, writing for WLFI, has a story on legislation that passed last year that reduces funding for kindergartners. HB 1001 was initially designed to correct a mistake the State had made, under-budgeting for about 6,000 students they didn’t plan for. In the course of the legislative process, Sen. Ryan Mishler, took issue with the State paying for kindergartners who didn’t turn 5 by August 1 of a year. Superintendent Scott Hanback of Tippecanoe School Corporation explains that there was a waiver process where, in the past, the school was likely to enroll a kindergartner — at the request of a parent — who turned five on August 5 or the 20th or the like.
Mishler was concerned that these kindergartners might double dip. Hang back and get another year of kindergarten on the State’s dime. I can back Mishler up on this. Five year olds are, by and large, a bunch of moochers. So, pursuant to HB 1001, a kindergartner who wasn’t 5 on August 1 of a year can’t be counted as a student for school funding purposes.
This year, TSC is down about 100 kindergartners. Hanback attributes this to the Mishler provision and to a lower birth rate in 2013.