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ISTA Focusing on Educator Burnout and Student Learning Conditions in Upcoming Legislative Session

The Indiana State Teachers Association (ISTA), the state’s largest teachers’ union, released their legislative priorities for the upcoming 2022 legislative session, which starts next month. The union wants legislators to focus on solutions to address the state’s growing teacher shortage as well as student growth.

“We need our legislative leaders to take bold steps this session to address educator workload and burnout, while improving students’ learning conditions,” said ISTA President Keith Gambill. “Many of these issues already existed but have only been exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

ISTA’s top priorities this session address issues many educators and schools have been discussing in greater intensity over the past year – teacher working conditions and risk of funding loss due to COVID-related virtual learning.

“We have two immediate priorities this session,” said Gambill. “The first is to restore teachers’ ability to bargain contracts that include health and safety conditions, class sizes and prep periods for teachers to create lessons and grade student work. Secondly, we need to ensure that schools receive 100% funding for students who may have been counted as attending virtually due to COVID-19 quarantine.”

The union’s additional priorities address the needs of school support staff and a cost-of-living adjustment for retired educators. ISTA says it will ask for the legislature to address the issue of increasing teacher diversity and bolster much needed social services for students. Review the summary of ISTA’s legislative agenda and a full list of priorities.