Indiana teacher pay should be $60,000 to be competitive, report says

Regional News

INDIANAPOLIS – According to a state report released Monday, a competitive teacher salary would be $60,000.

The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission released its report detailing recommendations for making teacher pay competitive with surrounding states.

During his 2019 State of the State Address, Governor Eric. Holcomb tasked the 13-member commission with providing proposals prior to the 2021 legislative session.

“I am grateful to the commission for its dedication to developing these recommendations,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The report provides a wide range of actions for all to review and consider moving forward. The options offer a base for continuing these important conversations about making compensation for our hard-working teachers more competitive.”

The report includes 37 recommendations for local school corporations and state government that could improve teacher compensation through expense reallocation, additional revenues or policy changes.

Among the recommendations was to establish a $40,000 teacher salary minimum by they 2022-23 school year.

The commission collected feedback from more than 1,000 teachers and citizens through online surveys and community forums. Additionally, the commission worked with school and district administrators, leaders of state education-related associations and many others.

“I’ve been privileged to work alongside my fellow commission members, who include current and former educators, business leaders, and some of the most experienced education professionals in Indiana,” Commission Chairman Michael L. Smith said. “Ensuring Indiana teachers receive competitive compensation is a high priority and will require everyone involved to work together toward that goal. Our report provides practical tools to help accomplish this.”

“The efforts of the Teacher Compensation Commission are recognized and appreciated,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Indiana Department of Education. “The Commission’s report presents the challenges Indiana schools face in their effort to be a competitive option in the national and statewide workforce. Additionally, the report presents over a decade of known data that tells Indiana’s K-12 story. Most schools can take pride in realizing many of the recommendations in the report have already been considered and implemented. As we enter the 2021 Indiana General Assembly legislative session, Hoosier educators look forward to the additional state funding and state-level policy actions necessary in order for teacher compensation to truly move forward.”

As a part of the Governor’s ongoing effort to improve teacher compensation, Gov. Holcomb used $150 million to pay down a pension liability that schools fund which is resulting in higher teacher salaries in districts across the state.

Additionally, Gov. Holcomb took steps to make sure the record increase to K-12 funding secured for the current state budget is protected despite revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic.

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