Kyle Stokes at State Impact Indiana has a post entitled The Boring School Financing Bill That Could Change Everything. The bill is SB 305, introduced by Sen. Breaux which would increase from once to twice per year the dates on which school attendance is counted for purposes of funding.
Consider this: Two count dates would mean — for the first time ever — Indiana districts wouldn’t get a constant level of state funding through the school year. If the bill passes, funding levels would fluctuate with the natural ebb-and-flow of students entering and leaving schools through the year, making every district’s budget process much less predictable.
Apparently what they have now uses a five year rolling average. The new bill would be more of a “real-time” approach tied to the idea that the money should follow the kid. Such an approach does not, in my mind, reflect the realities on the ground where fixed costs are not easily adjusted and where some kids are simply more expensive to educate than others (not to mention my opinion that education is a public good and not a personal entitlement.)
The Stokes’ story has some good analysis from the lawmakers and those involved in making policy on why the legislation will likely pass if the right-to-work roadblock can be lifted.