INDIANAPOLIS — Theodore Roosevelt College and Career Academy is likely to see a $1 million decrease in state funding following an Indiana State Board of Education meeting Wednesday morning.
The Indiana Department of Education asked the state board on Wednesday to approve just shy of $4 million in state tuition support grants for Roosevelt in the 2020 financial year. About $2 million will be withheld and directed to the Gary Community School Corp. as a part of the district’s innovation network agreement with educational services provider EdisonLearning.
EdisonLearning was first contracted to provide educational services for Roosevelt in 2012 when the state took over the Gary school following years of failing academic performance.
In March 2017, the State Board of Education approved an agreement returning Roosevelt to Gary schools for facilities operations, with EdisonLearning maintained to provide academic services. Under the agreement, the State Board of Education is given oversight of Roosevelt’s budget.
The IDOE asked the state board Wednesday morning to approve its recommendation of $3,976,488.48 in state tuition support for EdisonLearning, with $1,988,244.24 withheld to fund the Gary Community School Corp.’s facility operations.
Last year, the IDOE requested $4,928,029 in state tuition support with $2,464,014.50 withheld.
State tuition support is calculated largely based on a school’s enrollment, with consideration paid to the number of students engaged in special education, honors and career and technical education programming.
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The nearly $1 million difference in the state’s funding proposals likely stems from significant declines in Roosevelt’s enrollment over the last year. The school saw about 100 fewer students enrolled in the 2018-19 school year compared to the year before, according to IDOE data.
The total funding recommendations presented Wednesday are only estimates, which may change as Roosevelt calculates its actual student enrollment following the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
Since February, Roosevelt students have met for class in the Gary Area Career Center following concerns of costly repair and maintenance work needed at the school's historic West 25th Avenue location. EdisonLearning and the Gary schools emergency management team plan to discuss operation costs and the future of the Roosevelt building in a July 16 community meeting.
The state board also approved dozens of Common School Loan applications Wednesday, including nine technology loans for Northwest Indiana districts.
The largest loan requests among Region area districts were granted to the School City of Hammond, Lake Central School Corp. and Portage Township Schools.
Hammond’s $1.2 million loan will cover the cost of 4,000 Chromebooks; Lake Central’s $940,000 loan will be put toward 1,100 desktop computers and a dozen Chromebook “Classroom on Wheels” carts; and Portage’s $563,600 loan will fund business, music and science labs, among other computer and wiring needs.
Other Region districts receiving funds in the amount of $328,500 or less include the East Porter County School Corp., Hanover Community School Corp., Metropolitan School District of Boone Township, River Forest Community School Corp., School Town of Highland and Tri-Creek School Corp.