The governor's Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission will hold three meetings to hear public comments in August.
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - A commission looking at what teachers should be paid in Indiana will hold three meetings across the state next month.
Governor Eric Holcomb says his Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission is part of a plan to make Indiana’s teacher compensation competitive with surrounding states.
According to 2016-2017 numbers from the National Education Association, Indiana’s average starting teacher salary is $35,241. Low pay is believed to be a reason fewer young people are entering the teaching profession in recent years, leading to a shortage of qualified teachers at many schools.
The meetings will be August 19 in Indianapolis, August 24 in Evansville, and August 27 in Elkhart. Exact times and locations will be announced at a later time.
The commission will seek ideas and solutions to the teacher pay gap. Comments can also be submitted online at www.in.gov/gov.
Holcomb announced the creation of the commission during his 2019 State of the State address. The group will deliver recommendations to the governor and state lawmakers before the start of the 2021 legislative session, when the next state budget will be created.
The commission’s makeup has been criticized because it includes only one teacher. Other volunteer members of the commission and its advisory council include school board members, administrators, and business executives.
“Further, there are no teachers at the table for these meetings, so I am not sure why the governor would appoint people to a commission that don’t have direct experience working in a classroom or living on these low salaries,” said State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary), a potential 2020 gubernatorial challenger to Holcomb, in a May 29 statement.
Melton has also been critical of the commission’s meetings out of the public view.
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