Daniels Calls For Cuts In School Funding

Citing the state’s slipping revenues, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says further budget cuts will be needed to offset the shortfall, and has ordered reductions of at least $300 million for public schools over the next 18 months.

A new revenue forecast released Tuesday predicts the state will take in $1.8 billion less during the current two-year budget cycle than what was projected in May.

Daniels says the news calls for further belt-tightening.

“We’ve already cut state agencies by twenty percent and higher ed by six. We’re now forced to our last resort. K-12 spending is half the entire state budget and it will have to contribute something to keeping us in the black,” Daniels said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

“I’ve asked the state board of education to meet quickly and recommend how much reduction can be absorbed without reducing the number of classroom teachers. I’ve also asked their guidance on steps superintendents, school boards and teachers themselves can take to prevent layoffs.”

Daniels says those recommendations are due by Friday.