“How much money should be fed into Indiana education and should the money come from taxpayers or the federal stimulus package?” Those questions are likely to take center stage as legislature meet today for a special session. Democrats and republicans have, up to this point, been unable to compromise but hopefully are getting closer to deciding on a new state budget. “It is imperative for us to look at the business of education differently and look how we can drive as many dollars into Indiana’s classrooms” says State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Bennett. Republican Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels currently favors a two-percent increase in funding for education. Most of funding would come from federal stimulus dollars. Democrats, however, disagree with Daniels proposal asking the question “what will happen to school funding then when the stimulus money runs out in two years?” “It’s no secret that the money will run out in two years” says Bennett, noting that schools will have to have a plan in place once the stimulus money run out. Bennett agrees with Daniels proposal, but notes that its not really about the money. “We learned a long time ago that money wont make the education system in Indiana or in the United States any better” says Bennett. Bennett also says the problem isnt the amount of money being fed into education but how its being spent. Every year, Indiana spends 30-million dollars on 16-thousand children that dont even exist in this state, because school corporations are getting paid for children after they leave. “Starting with the next budget we need to fund education so that the money follows the children” says Bennett. The current two-year budget cycle is set to end on June 30. But the question remains ‘what happens if democrats and republicans are unable to compromise on a budget?’ The house majority, being democrats, want to put together a one-year budget. Republicans on the other hand are leaning towards a more traditional two-year plan. A public hearing is in the works for tomorrow.