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Indiana Under Fire for Public Schools Funding Formula

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Indiana’s system for funding public education is getting the scrutiny of its Supreme Court.The state’s high court yesterday heard arguments in a long-standing lawsuit. But the issue may be far from over.

Sometimes change can come with its own problems.

That’s how Northwest Indiana resident Joe Gomeztagle sees a class action lawsuit that claims Indiana’s public school funding system doesn’t fairly address the educational needs of all students.

If the state’s high court directs lawmakers to change the funding mechanism, Gomeztagle, an expert on Indiana tax policy, says that could create new problems.

GOMEZTAGLE: In one respect, they can win the lawsuit but they could lose the big battle because legislators will then tweak it to their best interests.

Under a complex formula, Indiana now provides half of the funding for public schools.

Local property taxes pay most of the rest. But in three years, the state will pick up the entire tab.That plan is aimed at bringing relief to property owners.

But as currently planned it could provide fewer dollars overall to education.

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