The state needs to shuffle money during the upcoming legislative session to meet school funding needs it failed to foresee. Due to an unexpected increase in public school enrollment, lawmakers have to fill a more than $9 million gap.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says it’s a top priority once the session begins.
“It’s not a bad problem – we have more kids going into to public schools than we did last year,” Long says. “But it’s a challenge for us only in the sense we need to adjust our numbers.”
Lawmakers had previously estimated lower enrollment during last year’s budget session. But Long added that a number of factors could have contributed to the unexpected increase.
“We don’t know if it’s coming from public school transfers with people coming from private schools, just from an unusual birth rate that year and more kids are coming into school this year than anticipated,” he says.
The 2018 legislative session begins Jan. 3.