Indiana state lawmakers are confident they can maintain funding for education at current levels, despite a lack of clear revenue projections as the pandemic continues and economic uncertainty abounds.”Our goal is to fund it where we are,” said Sen. Ron Grooms, a Republican who represents most of Floyd County and part of Clark County. “That’s our goal, to fund the virtuals, to fund the in-classroom the same as it was, with no cuts.”The Indiana General Assembly begins Monday and lasts through April 29.The state budget will dominate the session, but lawmakers must also tackle issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from health care to education to the economy.The era of remote learning and virtual meetings has also highlighted the lack of high-speed internet in many parts of Indiana, so Rep. Karen Engleman wants to find ways for the state to continue supporting broadband expansion. The Republican represents much of Harrison County and parts of Floyd and Clark counties, which are hilly and rural.”Having to lay wire or do overhead wire, that’s what we almost always have to do,” Engleman said. “So that’s costly and it’s time-consuming to get it in.”While most relief money comes from the federal government, Indiana will also need to find ways to support a workforce that has been hit hard by the recession, said Rep. Rita Fleming, a Democrat who represents Clark County. She also wants to increase vocational training in middle and high schools.”I’m working on getting shop class back into middle school, to get kids excited and interested into being carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC,” Fleming said. “They will always have a job (in those careers).”Indiana’s legislature must also approve a redistricting plan based on the 2020 U.S. Census. The GOP maintains a supermajority in both the Senate and House, which gives them total control over the process and likely guarantees their continued dominance in the state legislature.

Indiana state lawmakers are confident they can maintain funding for education at current levels, despite a lack of clear revenue projections as the pandemic continues and economic uncertainty abounds.

“Our goal is to fund it where we are,” said Sen. Ron Grooms, a Republican who represents most of Floyd County and part of Clark County. “That’s our goal, to fund the virtuals, to fund the in-classroom the same as it was, with no cuts.”

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The Indiana General Assembly begins Monday and lasts through April 29.

The state budget will dominate the session, but lawmakers must also tackle issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from health care to education to the economy.

The era of remote learning and virtual meetings has also highlighted the lack of high-speed internet in many parts of Indiana, so Rep. Karen Engleman wants to find ways for the state to continue supporting broadband expansion. The Republican represents much of Harrison County and parts of Floyd and Clark counties, which are hilly and rural.

“Having to lay wire or do overhead wire, that’s what we almost always have to do,” Engleman said. “So that’s costly and it’s time-consuming to get it in.”

While most relief money comes from the federal government, Indiana will also need to find ways to support a workforce that has been hit hard by the recession, said Rep. Rita Fleming, a Democrat who represents Clark County. She also wants to increase vocational training in middle and high schools.

“I’m working on getting shop class back into middle school, to get kids excited and interested into being carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC,” Fleming said. “They will always have a job (in those careers).”

Indiana’s legislature must also approve a redistricting plan based on the 2020 U.S. Census. The GOP maintains a supermajority in both the Senate and House, which gives them total control over the process and likely guarantees their continued dominance in the state legislature.

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