TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Tuesday, Indiana state representative Ed Delaney discussed a proposal to increase minimum teacher pay to $40,000.
According to data from the Rockefeller Institute of Government from 2002 to 2017, Indiana was ranked last in the country for teacher salary growth.
Some state lawmakers say this type of statistic is taking a toll on education.
“I’ve seen statistics that say that in the first year we lose about a third of our beginning teachers. So, we have a smaller pool coming in and we lose them fast,” said Representative Ed Delaney, Indiana House District 86.
In addition to a lack of funding, Delaney says when funding increases are approved public schools are receiving less compared to other schooling options.
“93% of our kids are getting a 2.06% or 2.07% raise. Our charter schools are getting a 10% plus raise, so five times as much,” Delaney said
To combat the issue with teacher pay, Delaney has created a proposal that would increase teacher minimum salary in Indiana to $40,000 dollars. That’s compared to $35,000 for beginning pay in Vigo County.
He says this would be paid for by freezing the corporate tax rate.
“I’m not raising any taxes, just freezing the corporate tax would raise $229 million in four years,” Delaney said.
Governor Holcomb has created a commission to study the issue of teacher pay but local state representative Tonya Pfaff says there is no time to wait.
“We don’t have two years to address a crisis. I mean, we can’t find teachers now. All over the state there are openings,” Pfaff said.
Delaney says the proposal will be brought up during the next legislative session, but there will be challenges because it is not a budget session.