“House Bill 1315 is a forward-looking piece of legislation that would help prevent future takeovers by the state and create significant opportunities for school corporations to self-correct if their financial situation becomes troubled.
“Under current law, school corporations have very few options and opportunities to remedy their fiscal situation before being taken over by the state. Under HB 1315, a committee would identify fiscal and qualitative indicators that the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) can use to privately alert school boards and superintendents when there are early signs of hardship.
“If privately contacted by DUAB, school corporations who meet those indicators would have 60 days to present a corrective plan for approval by DUAB. If approved, a corporation would need to follow the plan in order to remain off the public watch list. The private nature of the meeting ensures that schools won’t be flagged publicly unless they refuse to take corrective action on their own.
“There is a lot of discussion claiming that any school could be next for a state takeover under this bill, but the fact of the matter is that it would do the exact opposite. HB 1315 will help alert schools before they fall into a more strenuous financial situation, provide an opportunity for the corporation to correct the course on their own terms, and maintain local management of the school.
“HB 1315 is a positive, balanced, thoughtful approach to providing school corporations the resources they need should they fall on hard times or make a few missteps, ultimately decreasing the likelihood that schools will be taken over, and Hoosiers across the state should be supportive of that.”