Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317-232-1622

For Immediate Release: Mar 28, 2006
Daniels signs dollars to classroom legislation

INDIANAPOLIS (March 28, 2006) ? Governor Mitch Daniels today signed a bill that will help get more funds directly into the classroom for student learning. House Enrolled Act 1006, the dollars to the classroom bill, gives Indiana schools more authority and support for effective local decisions that reduce overhead.

The bill was among the last of the 194 passed by the General Assembly and sent to the governor for signature. No bills from the 2006 session were vetoed.

?Helping schools economize on overhead is the best route to more and better paid teachers, without further burdening taxpayers. New tools and new freedom to cut costs in the back office means more money on the front lines of education,? said Daniels.

House authors are Rep. Cindy Noe, R-Indianapolis, Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, and Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe. Senate sponsors are Sen. Teresa Lubbers, R-Indianapolis, and Sen. Jeff Drozda, R-Westfield.

Indiana currently ranks 47th among states in the percentage of K-12 employees who are certified teachers in the classroom. Only 46 percent of K-12 employees teach (National Center for Education Statistics). A leader of Indiana?s Education Service Centers recently testified before the state?s Education Roundtable that only 10 percent of potential savings that could be achieved by consolidated purchasing in Indiana is currently taking place.

The new law provides school corporations with consolidated purchasing authority to participate in transactions such as creating insurance pools, purchasing natural gas as a single entity, and developing shared services arrangements for overhead functions. The State Board of Education also will explore opportunities for statewide purchasing, and Educational Service Centers, the Department of Education?s Division of Finance and the Office of Management and Budget will provide analysis and support.

Among other provisions, the bill also gives local school corporations more tools to find ways to reduce overhead and increase instruction spending. For example, local school boards will set their own goals to increase allocation to student instruction based on their own unique circumstances. The state board will recognize school corporation progress and share best practices. The bill also includes measures that will help the Department of Education and school corporations improve their systems for financial management, analysis and reporting.

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