State of the States
Gov. Daniels Wants Review of School Construction Aid
Gov. Mitch Daniels has called for a 120-day moratorium on issuing school construction bonds, and wants more analysis of where the state’s education dollars are going.
During his Jan. 18 State of the State Address, the Republican said he would direct the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance to write guidelines for comparing the size, cost, and ratio of spending on academics against spending on school construction.
“Our test results lag behind other states’, but the size and cost of our school buildings is second to none,” said Mr. Daniels, a former White House budget chief who was elected in November. “They are larger per student, more expensive per square foot than makes good sense.”
The governor also challenged lawmakers to come up with a “fair, principled system” for school funding that is easier for average Hoosiers to understand.
In addition, Mr. Daniels urged the legislators to support his plans to speed up the spread of charter schools, move the state’s accountability exams from the fall to the spring, and change the position of state education commissioner from an elected to an appointed position.
He proposed a school budget for fiscal years 2006 and 2007 of $7.4 billion, an increase from $7.3 billion, or just more than 1 percent above the current two-year budget.
Vol. 24, Issue 21, Page 26