Increase Rural School Funding
Current population trends are shifting families away from rural communities and closer to urban/suburban cities with more economic opportunity. In the current funding formula for Indiana public schools, the dollars follow the students and rural schools have seen significant declines in state funding. This impacts teacher attraction and retention, quality of course offerings, and overall student success. Additionally, local property owners are left with the burden of making up for state shortcomings through capital project and operating cost referendums.
- The gap between rural and urban/suburban education is increasing with the decrease in course offerings by rural schools because funds are being distributed to other communities.
- Teachers are not attracted and retained in rural areas because it is a challenge to pay them competitively compared to teachers in urban/suburban schools.
- Rural students are less prepared for their next step because of the decrease in opportunities provided by the schools compared to those of urban/suburban schools.
- More schools are turning to referendums and inequitably increasing property tax burdens to make up for the loss in state funding to rural schools.
Key Message/ Ask:
Indiana Farm Bureau supports the General Assembly increasing the base funding that is given to rural schools to provide more financial support to schools educating rural students.