• Gov. Mitch Daniels
Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana promoted his Dollars to the Classroom proposal in his State of the State Address on Jan. 11.
The package of school improvement plans that Mr. Daniels, a Republican who took office a year ago, and state schools Superintendent Suellen K. Reed are sending to the legislature would give school districts more spending flexibility, and theoretically reduce overhead costs so more aid could go directly to the classroom.
Spending Efficiency: “Only 61 percent of operating expenses reach the classroom, compared to a national best approaching 70 percent,” Gov. Daniels said. “Hundreds of millions that could be going for more teachers, higher teacher pay, cheaper textbooks, or new programs like all-day kindergarten, extra math and science tutoring, or a longer school year, go instead to administrative and support costs.”
A video of the governor’s speech is also posted. (Requires a media player.)
He argued that with more efficient use of money, the state could have “smaller classrooms, smaller schools, better-paid teachers, and new programs.”
The legislation would call on school districts to work together to pay for common supplies. Gov. Daniels mentioned that in most cases, all 292 Indiana school corporations operate on their own to buy supplies and even insurance and energy.