The request includes funds to cover textbooks and other instruction materials for students so parents do not have to pay as much money for rentals.
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said in a statement regarding the budget request that she wants to increase the state education budget to decrease parents’ ?financial burden.
“Our constitution provides for a general and uniform school system that is equally open to all,” she said. “That is why we have requested funding for textbook rentals and instructional materials for all ?students.”
Ritz said the funding will further that educational equality by decreasing costs for parents, therefore making textbooks and materials more accessible to all ?students.
“By funding these at the state level, we can guarantee that all districts have equitable resources for texts while also giving parents a much-needed financial break,” she said.
According to an INDOE press release, Indiana is one of eight states in the U.S. in which parents are required to pay for the cost of these textbook and instructional materials.
State funds made up $714,027.16 of Monroe County Community School Corporation’s expenditures in the 2013 fiscal year, according to INDOE reports.
That comes to about half a percent of the corporation’s expenditures for the year, which INDOE reports totaled $128,711,521.50.
“As a state, our chief priority is to ensure our future shared prosperity,” Ritz said in the release. “No one factor is more important to that prosperity than ensuring that our educational system is equitable and of the highest quality.”
The request submitted by the IDOE to the Indiana Budget Agency this week was a draft.
The Indiana General Assembly will vote on the final budget next year for the legislative session beginning in 2015.