Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction says efforts to boost the number of licensed teachers in the state are paying off. Glenda Ritz says Indiana is reporting a more than 18 percent increase in the number of license recipients from 2015 to 2016.
Ritz says Indiana policies on teacher pay discouraged students from entering the education field. Those policies included, she says, tying pay to student performance on tests like ISTEP+ and taking away local control and flexibility from the salary formula. Ritz says, "While today’s numbers do not fully solve the shortage, they reflect our strong state commitment and work to support the education profession over the past four years."
Ritz formed the Blue Ribbon Commission for the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators in hopes of addressing the shortage. The Indiana Department of Education has also partnered on the Indiana Center on Teacher Quality at Indiana University, thanks to a $5 million State Personnel Development Grant. That funding will support efforts to provide current and prospective teachers with support and resources.
The department says the new numbers reverse a decline in new teacher licenses over the last few years, It says, between 2012 and 2015, Indiana saw a decline of more than 34 percent in the number of individuals receiving initial practitioner educator licenses. That includes a 20 percent decline from 2014 to 2015.