Over the last few years, the topic of teacher pay has been a hot button issue nationwide. This issue has led to rallies, protests, and even strikes in some states. It never came to the latter here in Indiana due in large part to laws preventing it. However, here on the home front the message was the same: Teachers need to be compensated better.
In response to teacher concerns, Gov. Eric Holcomb tasked a commission with investigating the issue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the commission came to the same conclusion: Teachers in the state of Indiana are underpaid.
The study found that Indiana is one of the lowest paying states in the region. Additionally, Indiana is the worst in the country in terms of salary growth.
The study names the problems with Indiana’s current teacher compensation model and the price the state pays for it:
“There is a gap between competitive pay and Indiana’s current teacher salaries, and it has contributed to many challenges facing our education system today. Fewer students are enrolling in or completing teacher preparation programs, and fewer Hoosiers are earning teaching licenses. While there are varying opinions among the public about whether there is a ‘teacher shortage,’ the data is clear: Indiana has significant challenges in attracting and retaining qualified teachers.”
In the report, the commission suggested that an ideal average for state teacher salaries would be around $60,000 well above the current average of $51,000. They also outlined some suggestions to get to this figure such as eliminating the 529 plan tax credit for high income families and preventing working spouses from being on district health care plans.
Read the full report below.