Senate Republicans recently passed a two-year state budget that would increase funding for special education students, said State. Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette).
The budget bill passed by the Indiana Senate, House Bill 1001, would increase special education funding in Indiana by 23%, providing a total of $196 million in new funding. With this additional funding, the Senate budget is estimated to provide a total of $1.37 billion to special education in 2022 and 2023.
HB 1001 would increase special education grants by 5% in 2022 and an additional 10% in 2023. The budget the House of Representatives sent over to the Senate did not include increases for special education grant funding.
"It is important that all young Hoosiers receive the best education possible, and some students with special needs require additional resources to accomplish this," Alting said. "This funding would help ensure our schools are equipped with the resources and talent they need to provide our kids with a quality education no matter their special circumstances."
In addition, starting in Fiscal Year 2023, HB 1001 would create an Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program for special needs students who meet the same income limits as the Choice Scholarship program.
HB 1001 also gives $350,000 to Best Buddies, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
HB 1001 will now return to the House of Representatives for further consideration.