While education continues to make up almost 50% of the governor’s proposed budget, modest increases to K-12 school funding and the lack of solutions to address teacher compensation is simply insufficient.
The governor’s proposal only contains one element from the teacher pay commission – paying down the state’s pension fund. The savings from this investment merely funds the modest increases to education in the budget – all without being committed to teacher pay. We need new revenue to address teacher pay if we are truly committed to being competitive with neighboring states.
While a 2% increase in year one keeps us from falling further behind other states, a 1% increase in year two is simply lacking. By all accounts, the economy will be well recovered in the second year. If the state isn’t prepared to make a significant commitment to investing in teacher pay now, the legislature should commit to reopening the budget in the 2022 session.
We ask the governor to recommit to addressing Indiana’s teacher pay gap, as he did in his campaign. Hoosier teachers and the students they serve are counting on bold action from the governor and state legislature.