Ask lawmakers to fund students fairly

Current Events & News, Legislation, School Funding | 04/08/2021

Melissa Damm
Advocate and IPS grandparent

I believe in funding students based on their needs. Fair funding isn’t about funding every student in the same way; it is about funding students based on their needs, and my story is proof of that.

Many students across our state, some of my grandchildren included, require additional support. It costs schools a lot more to provide for them. Xavier has autism, Hazel is English language learning, and Emily has touch sensitivity among other impairments. 

Beyond their special needs, school for my grandchildren has not gone well during the pandemic. I am happy to see that House Bill 1008 creates a $150 million grant program for struggling students, but I think that is only part of the solution. I would like to see our state’s funding formula increase for students who face poverty, are English language learning or have an IEP.  

Kids like my grandchildren are falling way behind. Many of their peers had attended a failing school years before the pandemic and then went into the pandemic with technology issues. Some of my grandchildren and their peers didn’t receive devices until October.   

One of my grandchildren who has an IEP and special needs missed nearly half of this year because of technical difficulties. As someone who didn’t do well in school and had an IEP from the 5th grade on, I understand my grandson’s struggle. He requires a lot of additional support and that support only comes if his school has the funding to provide it.  

All kids deserve the funding to get them the education they need and deserve, but for some students, it just takes more. Schools serving kids who are predominately low-income, have special needs, or are learning English are at risk if our funding formula isn’t increased. 

Please join me and ask key lawmakers to fund schools in our state to reflect the needs of the kids who need it the most on an ongoing basis. All children should get a fair shot at achieving greatness. 

 

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