Statehouse debating bills aimed at education funding

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The State Education Committee has been hard at work this session.

A pair of bills could help students across the state. House bills 1009 and 1281 both deal with education and making sure students are taken care of. For years school corporations have had a general fund. Much of the money given by the state is earmarked for specific use. Now HB 1009 will split the general fund into two funds: an operations fund and an education fund.

The operations fund would replace the capital projects fund, the transportation fund, the school bus replacement fund, an art association or a historical society fund, and the public playground fund. The education fund can be used as the exclusive fund to pay expenses allocated to student instruction and learning. Advocates say it will help with flexibility of spending.

The other bill to watch is HB 1281 — it includes a number of new regulations, but one main aspect is making sure students like the ones affected by the ITT Technical Institute closing aren’t left in the dust. When ITT Tech closed, many of the students lost financial aid eligibility. HB 1281 will ensure those students retain the eligibility for financial aid. Although some students were bailed out by federal aid, this bill makes sure Hoosiers will be taken care of if it happens again.

HB 1009 has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee, while HB 1281 was voted through the house Monday.

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