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> Full funding school bill advances
post Jan 7 2021, 03:48 PM
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Indiana lawmakers are expediting two similar bills intended to ensure schools receive full funding for all students, regardless of whether they are receiving instruction virtually or in the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The draft bills were filed in the House and Senate at the start of the 2021 Legislative session, both redefining what constitutes a “virtual student” and ensuring there would be no reduction in per-student funding for traditionally in-person schools.

A twice-yearly count of students attending schools is used to determine how much money the state allots to each facility. According to the bills, students will not be counted as “virtual” on Feb. 1 even if most or all of their learning takes place online.

Without that change, millions of dollars would be on the line for schools offering instruction online only. Current state law caps per-pupil funding for students who take at least half their classes virtually at 85% of full in-person student funding.

That would mean school districts using hybrid formats or that only offer online instruction to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 could lose 15% of their basic per-student funding, amounting to $855 per student.
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