Tonight Gov. Eric Holcomb will address Hoosiers in the annual State of the State address.
Holcomb so far has had a fairly light education policy agenda and K-12 budget with increases that some lawmakers say are not enough. With this year’s emphasis on road funding and transportation, it could be that education won’t figure prominently in his speech.
Earlier this month, Holcomb proposed sending an additional $280 million to Indiana schools — an increase of 3 percent. It would double the amount the state spends on preschool tuition in 2018 and 2019 in the original five counties, going from $10 million per year to $20 million. Holcomb’s preschool proposal differs from the priorities of other Republican legislative leaders.
Aside from the $280 million increase, Holcomb’s budget plan would also set aside $1 million per year for coordinating science, technology, engineering and math programs across the state and $1 million per year, with the possibility of federal matching grants, for districts to support internet access.
Another main part of his education agenda would be making Indiana’s elected schools chief a governor-appointed position beginning in 2021.
Former Gov. Mike Pence’s speech last year made many references to education, through ISTEP, A-F grades and the consequences they can have for schools and teachers.