Ericca Maas, Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation and the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
July 2005Indiana???s New and (Somewhat) Improved K-12 School Finance System
Dr. Susan L. Aud, Milton & Rose D. Friedman Foundation
Given the source, one might expect arguments in favor of school choice in Minnesota and Indiana in these two reports, both part of a series from the Friedman Foundation on "School Choice Issues in the State." In that respect, the Minneapolis study does not disappoint; it examines the projected impact that a proposed voucher plan - Education Access Grants, introduced in the legislature in February - would have on the budgets of both Minneapolis public schools and the state. (The bottom line: both the public schools and the state would benefit financially.) But these reports will prove most useful to readers seeking concise, clear explanations of each state's school finance systems. The Indiana study, for example, looks at the Hoosier State's K-12 funding formulas, which, though simplified in recent years, remain complicated. Further, the Indiana report compares that state's formulas and procedures with those in Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio and uncovers some choice factoids. For example, schools in Indiana are typically allocated $12,600 per year for each severely disabled student, versus $29,000 in Ohio and $10,300 in Kentucky. Meanwhile, Minnesota pays ten times more to schools to educate English Language Learners ($700 per student) than does Michigan ($70 per student). Given the billions spent each year on education, more such transparency is essential. You can download a copy of the Minnesota report by visiting http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/news/2005-07-13.html. The Indiana report is available at http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/news/2005-07-12.html.