Harris successfully amends bill to secure funds for school demolition

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Earl Harris Jr. (D-East Chicago) successfully amended Senate Bill 408 to remove the limit on the amount of funds available for school improvement, in the event that the school building is to be demolished.

SB 408 establishes that if payments for loans or advances from the common school fund are suspended, a school corporation must establish a school improvement fund and transfer an amount equal to the suspended payments to the fund. The school improvement fund must be used solely for repair, renovation, other improvements or demolition of school buildings and property.

Harris’s proposal removes the provision that states no more than 20 percent of the transferred funds may be used for the purpose of a school’s demolition.

“This is about ensuring our schools get the funding they need to take care of their community,” Harris said. “It’s never good news when a school has to close its doors, so the least we can do is make the process as easy as possible.

“Empty, partially broken down buildings are a major problem in the Region, and this amendment works to improve the safety of those communities.”

Today, the amended bill passed through the House with a vote of 89-2.

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