As a member of the Interim Study Committee on Education, I understand the concern parents, students, educators and administrators have about the teacher shortage in Indiana. However, this is not exclusive to Indiana. In fact, this is a national and even global issue.
Having spent many years in education, I know how critical it is to have the best and brightest teachers in the classroom. Our committee has worked dilligently to define the challenges Indiana faces in teacher recruitment and retention.
On Monday, we made recommendations for the 2016 legislative session concerning teacher pay, rewarding teacher training and improving how the ISTEP examination is administered. We have also recommended mentorship programs and exploring loan forgiveness to better recruit and retain teachers, especially in shortage areas like math and science.
I am dedicated to making sure our children receive the best education. I have already begun drafting legislation for the upcoming session to address the factors that may be contributing to teacher shortages across the state. In the coming months, I encourage you to share your thoughts on this issue. With your input and the efforts of leaders from across Indiana, we will be able to find and implement practical solutions that attract and keep talented teachers in our classrooms.
State Rep.Tony Cook