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End of session update

The 2020 legislative session has come to an end. Thank you for advocating for educators, students and public education - you made a difference!

At the outset of the session, ISTA asked for action on three priorities: 1) Hold schools and teachers harmless from I-LEARN scores; 2) Repeal the misguided PGP/externship requirements; and 3) Put a down payment toward increasing teacher pay.

Thanks to the strength and perseverance of ISTA members and advocates, we have achieved two of our three priorities with the passage of SB 2 and SB 319. Along with these bills, we also saw other positive movement this session. For a full summary of education bills, check out ISTA's legislative review.

Top Priorities 
SB 2: Two year hold harmless from I-LEARN scores for schools and teachers
SB 319: Removes PGP and externship requirements passed in 2019.
HB 1002: Permanently decouples test scores from teacher evaluations.

Other Priorities and Accomplishment
SB 10: Offers retirees more pension flexibility.
SB 246: Ensures every school has a contract with a mental health provider or certified staff.
HB 1283: Makes sure that our preservice teachers get meaningful curriculum in college on how to identify and help students who have experienced trauma.
HB 1341: Empowers students with disabilities by making diploma and training options more accessible.
HB 1066: Provides stability to students and schools and reassurances of legal rights for teachers in school districts that reorganize into multiple new districts.

Legislators missed a huge opportunity this session by not addressing teacher pay. Lawmakers had a chance to provide a good faith down payment on teacher pay using the state's budget surplus, but they elected to do nothing. Indiana has lost yet another year, falling behind our neighboring states in catching up with teacher pay.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has made the promise to put Indiana in the top three states in our region for teacher pay and our members will expect nothing less. We will also be asking members and advocates to demand that candidates this election make public education a top issue. ISTA will be working throughout the year and into next spring building our union's capacity for engaging our communities and stakeholders to ensure lawmakers take action in 2021 to increase traditional public school funding and the average teacher annual salary to $60,000