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Governor Eric Holcomb for his announcement this afternoon of his commitment to fully fund K-12 education in the state budget for the rest of Fiscal Year 2020 and all Fiscal Year 2021.

This funding commitment includes an increase of $183 million in funding for schools during the next fiscal year. Governor Holcomb stated that this decision was reached in agreement with legislative leaders.

This commitment is nothing short of tremendous news considering the decline in state revenue projected to be as much as $2 billion by the end of the Fiscal Year 2020 on June 30, 2020, the Indiana School Board Association today released.

The decline in state revenue is a result of the coronavirus recession and historic unemployment rates not seen in more than 80 years, dating back to the Great Depression (1929-1939), the release stated. 

Governor Holcomb stated during the press conference that this plan “underscores the top priority placed on K-12 education, a longstanding priority (of the administration), and I hope it will relieve anxiety” about budgeting decisions of school corporations for the school year ahead.

The governor went on to say that the ability to fully fund K-12 education illustrates how prudently the state has managed its financial resources and have reserves to assist during this global pandemic.

Indiana PK-12 schools and higher education institutions can now apply for a needs-based, competitive $61.6 million grant program providing funding to improve remote learning, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday.

“Teachers, administrators, and superintendents have faced this pandemic with innovative solutions to ensure our students continue to receive the best education possible,” Holcomb said. “Our Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funds will help meet technology needs and grow educator development while working to reduce the disparities between districts.”

The $61.6 million Indiana received in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funding, provided through the federal CARES Act, will be focused on three areas:

· Device Availability — Address the need for access to digital learning devices to support remote learning for students in PK-12.

· Connectivity — Develop comprehensive community-level and regional-level solutions to address gaps in internet connectivity for remote learning.

· Educator Capacity — Support partnerships between higher education and PK-12 to develop professional development and curriculum opportunities as educators throughout Indiana continue to build expertise in remote learning.

In a collaboration among the Governor’s Office, the Indiana Department of Education, the Commission for Higher Education and the Indiana State Board of Education, the state expects to award dozens of grants.

There is no minimum or maximum threshold, however, grants may not be funded at the full amount requested.

Traditional public school corporations, public charter schools, accredited non-public schools, higher education institutions, and other education-related entities are eligible to apply.

The deadline is Friday, July 17.

More information may be found at the ISDH website at coronavirus.in.gov and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.