Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus members have announced plans to address teacher salaries this year. Two proposals have been put together by Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson), Senate Democratic Chair Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) and State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary).
One plan, SB 413, authored by Sen. Melton, would place $100 million each fiscal year until 2021 to the Teacher Appreciation Grant. Teachers rated effective or highly effective would receive a higher salary this school year.
“One of my biggest priorities for 2020 has been to find a way to put much needed dollars in teachers’ pockets this year after Statehouse Republicans doubled down on their insistence that teachers would have to wait to see any pay raises,” Sen. Melton said. “My proposal could cost taxpayers no extra money by using a small portion of the state’s additional millions in unexpected revenue to help pay our teachers what they deserve. I urge the governor to support this proposal to show teachers that their voices and concerns matter. ”
The other proposal, SB 306, authored by Sen. Tallian, would fund a current year funding increase and an ongoing raise. The bill would “smooth out” current and future Teacher Retirement Fund payments to release up to $100 million per year. The money would be distributed to the Indiana Department of Education for increasing teacher salaries.
“This nonsense about the legislature being unable to address teacher salaries during a non-budget year is frustrating, misleading and wrong,” Sen. Tallian said. “They have moved fiscal items in non-budget years many times in the past, as recently as 2008, 2016 and 2018. If this was a priority for the supermajority, they would open the budget and get it done.”
The whole Senate Democratic Caucus signed on as co-authors of both bills.
Governor Eric Holcomb announced his legislative priorities last month.