The Indiana School Boards Association (ISBA) has reviewed the K-12 School Funding Formula runs released last week by the Indiana General Assembly and finds that the price tag to pay for the expansion of private school choice programs would be significantly higher than previously understood or reported.

The School Funding Formula for the state budget bill that passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee February 11 allocates $144 million in new money over the next two years to pay for the expansion of school vouchers and the establishment of education savings accounts. That is substantially above the two-year cost of $66 million estimated in the most recent fiscal impact statement for House Bill 1005.

ISBA is choosing to release this analysis to help ensure that the public knows the facts as the debate on private school choice expansion continues to grow.

Page 188 of the K-12 School Funding Formula runs shows state funding for the Choice Scholarship Program would jump in Fiscal Year 2022 by $40,535,175 (23.4%). In Fiscal Year 2023, new funding for the Choice Scholarship Program would again include the $40,535,175 increase from FY22 plus an additional increase of $43,526,518 (20.3%).

On Page 189, education savings accounts are funded at $19,237,867.

Add the four numbers together for a bottomline total of $143,834,735 ($40,535,175 + $40,535,175 + $43,526,518 + $19,237,867).

ISBA opposes the expansion of school vouchers and the establishment of education savings accounts and believes that now is not the time to divert needed funds away from serving the one million students in public schools and investing in teacher pay raises.

— Indiana School Boards Association