Exercising special power granted during the pandemic, Indiana education officials rewrote school funding rules Wednesday to prevent cuts for virtual learning due to the coronavirus.
The State Board of Education created a new rule to address funding for students who would normally be in classrooms but are learning online because of the pandemic—including students in hybrid or all-virtual options, and those at schools that haven’t reopened for in-person instruction. The state will fully fund those students this fall, as though they were attending in-person.
The change aims to keep school funding steady through the pandemic and comes in response to a recent warning that schools could receive reduced state support if they don’t return to in-person learning.
Without the new rule, schools would see their per-student funding drop to 85% for online students—a loss that would equate, for example, to $28 million for Indianapolis Public Schools, which is staying all-virtual