Bartels: Education is a top priority

Posted by: Adam Kern  | Friday, June 21, 2019

This legislative session, lawmakers made record investments in K-12 education in Indiana. Ensuring our children receive quality instruction is a top priority, and it is important we continue to prepare them for success in the classroom and workplace.

The new state budget provides more than $763 million in new funding for K-12 education. Hoosier schools could save $70 million annually due to a $150 million payment to an unfunded pension liability for educators. We also strongly encouraged schools to direct their savings toward increasing teacher pay. To directly benefit teachers, we increased funding from $30 million to $37.5 million per year for Teacher Appreciation Grants to reward effective and highly effective educators.

Input from current and former educators, school administrative officials, and teacher organizations like the Indiana State Teachers Association, Teach Plus and Stand For Children resulted in the implementation of new opportunities, such as teacher residency pilot programs, that would provide on-the-job training to aspiring teachers, better preparing them to lead a classroom. The program would partner students with high performing teachers, offering a unique learning experience and a stipend.

Recently, US News and World Report released a ranking of the top high schools in Indiana. Determining factors considered in the rankings included college readiness, math and reading proficiency, underserved student performance, college curriculum breadth and graduation rate.

Congratulations to Heritage Hills High School, Tell City Jr-Sr High School, Perry Central Junior-Senior High School and Crawford County High School for ranking in the top 100 high schools in Indiana. Keep up the good work!

With several schools in our community making the top of the list, it is my hope the state’s investment in K-12 education will continue the upward trajectory for our students and educators.

Ensuring that our schools and students continue succeeding is critically important to me. Please contact me with questions or send me suggestions for other ways to continue to make education a priority in our community at or 317-232-9802.


State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) represents House District 74, which
includes portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.
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