Indiana News

Commission finds Indiana should raise teacher pay

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): Indiana’s Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission found that the state should raise teacher pay to $60,000 per year for competitive pay.

Indiana ranked 38th in the country in average teacher pay at $51,119 in the 2018-2019 school year according to the National Education Association. Teachers here also earn less than teachers in all the neighboring states, with Indiana’s starting teacher pay salary at $36,498, more than $3,600 below the national average.

The study says that raising Indiana’s average teacher compensation to $60,000 would move Indiana from ninth to third in the Midwest, and third among the state’s neighbors. Indiana has also had the lowest teacher salary growth in the nation over the last two decades.

However, reaching the competitive compensation benchmark would cost more than $600 million.

The report made the following recommendations to local school corporations:

  • Join the state’s pharmacy benefit plan (estimated $25 million in annual savings)
  • Limit working spouses’ participation in district health care plans (estimated $50 million in annual savings)
  • Exclude Medicare-eligible retirees from healthcare plans
  • Increase utilization of centralized procurement
  • Join a liability risk pool
  • Right-size district teacher and staff ratios where appropriate
  • Share services with other districts and external organizations
  • Implement additional best practices
  • Pass an operating referendum (estimated $80 million in additional funding)
  • Increase Medicaid reimbursement claims
  • Increase private contributions through foundations
  • Award higher salaries to teachers with high-need students and in teacher shortage subject areas
  • Improve flexibility for teachers to control their individual compensation through career ladder systems

To read the recommendations for the state and the rest of the report, click here.

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