Equity Analyses of the 2015-2017 Indiana School Funding Formula

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Center for Evaluation & Education Policy
A new report from CEEP will help guide Indiana legislators as they develop a two-year budget that includes funding for public schools. Lead authored by Thomas Sugimoto, CEEP's report reviews changes to Indiana school finances and enrollment in the study and also examines funding equity between school corporations. The report, prepared for the Indiana State Board of Education, noted four key findings: Enrollment is projected to decline modestly in the state's public schools in 2017, compared to 2009, with larger declines in traditional public schools than in charter schools. The state's public school corporations experienced substantial changes in state funding between 2009 and 2017. State funding for school operations is projected to increase through July 2017; however, the increases, when adjusted for inflation, are not sufficient to fully restore funding to pre-2009 levels. The current funding-formula policy improved equity throughout the study period. Projections indicate that high levels of equity will be achieved in 2017. Equity in funding looks at whether school corporations serving similar types of students (in terms of student income) receive similar funding. Sugimoto says he was surprised by how much changes in state enrollment and funding varied across the state, and these average changes don’t provide a complete picture of the experiences for many school corporations.
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