(INDIANA STATEHOUSE) - Governor Daniels says he's hopeful this week's $300 million cut to school spending is the last step needed to wrench the state budget into balance.
Daniels praises local superintendents for what he says has been a "responsible" approach to finding the savings without firing teachers.
He singles out the Evansville schools for special praise for bending over backwards to avoid cuts that could affect the classroom.
Daniels says if this month's forecast slashing $1.8 billion from the state's expected bottom line is accurate, the state can reach the end of the two-year budget by spending the rainy day fund.
The forecast has been downgraded four times in the last year.
But Daniels cautions that without knowing what the economy will do, he can't guarantee there won't be further cuts to schools in the first six months of 2011, or even later this year.
He says he tried to meet a plea from the State Board of Education to cut 2010 budgets only once, to enable local districts to plan for the year.
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