INDIANAPOLIS — A mother of two kids at charter schools in Indianapolis is suing the state over school funding.
Letrisha Weber contests in a lawsuit filed this week that the state is is overstepping its rulemaking authority by enforcing a state law that says schools that are offering in-person classes but are also requiring some students to attend school virtually from home, will get only 85-percent of their full funding per student that is not at school in person.
“When virtual schools, which are public schools as well, are funded at 85 cents on the dollar, compared to brick-and-mortar schools, there’s a huge discrepancy,” she told WISH-TV.
“There’s a misconception that we don’t need funding for buildings,” she added. “Well, there’s still a structure. There’s still a need for that funding.”
She believes the state law to be unconstitutional.
The issue was first brought to light over the summer by a letter to schools from Senate President Rod Bray, who told schools to expect only 85-percent of funding if they have students learning virtually while offering in-person classes.
Governor Holcomb addressed that not long after the letter was sent, calling on state lawmakers to ensure schools get full funding regardless of whether students are learning virtually or in-person this year in light of the pandemic.
House Bill 1003, which passed out of an Indiana House committee not long after the legislature convened, would address that issue head-on. A similar bill is also making progress in the State Senate.
“My hope ultimately is not to change the funding for the brick-and-mortar schools, but to bring out students in the virtual school that we chose up to the same level of funding so that everyone has the same access,” Weber said.
The State Board of Education is not commenting on the lawsuit.