Teach Plus Indiana Encouraged by Investment in Teacher Pipeline; Advocates Long-Term Solutions to Addressing Teacher Pay Gap
Teach Plus Indiana issued the following statement on the release of the final biennium budget for Indiana:
“From the beginning of this legislative session, Teach Plus and Teach Plus teachers advocated for a meaningful investment in the profession including short-term action and sustainable, long-term solutions on teacher pay, leadership, and preparation. It is therefore encouraging to see state legislators allocate $1 million to the creation of a teacher residency pilot program, and $3.5 million to the creation of a teacher advancement grant program. We look forward to partnering with the legislature on the implementation of these programs, as we work as a state to better support Indiana’s educators.
With a five percent increase to tuition support over the two-year budget and the creative solution of using surplus monies to free up district dollars, it is clear education funding is a priority for the state legislature. Yet, we are concerned the dollars will have a minimal effect on teacher salaries. We are committed to working with state legislators and partners in the education space to find realistic, operational solutions that will close the pay gap between teaching and comparable professions.
We are glad to see a funding increase to Teacher Appreciation Grants, but would have preferred to see a direct allocation to teacher salaries instead. We understand the significance of the Teacher Appreciation Grants in acknowledging the hard work of effective educators, but Indiana teachers perceive the grants to be cursory. In a 2019 Teach Plus flash poll, 77 percent of teacher respondents favored reallocating Teacher Appreciation Grant dollars to base pay.
With the creation of the Governor’s Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission, Teach Plus teachers are optimistic about the prospect of long-term solutions. As a state, we must commit to supporting educators and creating an environment where teachers and students alike feel well supported and set up for success.”