Last week, Governor Holcomb gave his 2021 State of the State Address. Educators who tuned in to listen wanted to know what promises Holcomb would provide for education. Two years prior, during his 2019 State of the State address, he announced the creation of the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission which was tasked with studying teacher pay and providing recommendations to make teacher pay competitive with other midwestern states. December 2020, the commission released its findings.
Indiana educators want more than recommendations. They want to know how education will be impacted in the state. During his speech, Holcomb stated he wanted to:
- Increase K-12 funding by $377 million.
- Restore higher education funding by $103 million and increase it in each of the next two years.
- Pay down $400 million on our biggest teacher pension debt
Holcomb also directly addressed the commission’s findings:
And, the Teacher Compensation Commission Report identified 37 different state and local ideas to reduce costs and increase revenues for our public schools, and we should examine them closely to put more funds into teachers’ pockets.
When, not “if” – when we do this, we will be one of the best in the Midwest for teacher pay, and we’ll be better able to attract and retain teacher talent, including attracting more minority candidates.
“When, not ‘if’ is a bold statement. Based on this assertation, we should see teacher pay increase. Again, what is missing is the exact when. That information is the knowledge educators across the state would like to know, too.
The bottom line, teacher compensation it tied to the education budget. Hopefully, Holcomb will be able to keep his promise and get Hoosier educator to a competitive salary, sooner rather than later.