Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said she would like to see the state cover the costs of textbook rentals.
Ritz, a Democrat, included the request in the proposed schools budget she submitted to the State Budget Agency on Thursday. She is also asking for a 3-percent increase in education spending.
Indiana is one of eight states to charge families for textbook costs.
Gov. Mike Pence is set to deliver a budget proposal to the General Assembly in January. Pence, a Republican, has typically favored spending and tax cuts over increased spending like Ritz is calling for.
Republican leaders say they strived to protect education from the deep cuts some other agencies faced through the recession. But Democrats say schools took a $300 million hit during the recession.