Bartels: Working to better support students, educators

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Tuesday, April 2, 2019 3:15 pm

Indiana is home to over 1 million students and 70,000 teachers. This session, legislators brought forth various proposals to support educators as they prepare students for success. I am sponsoring legislation that would increase the tax credit teachers use toward classroom materials and provide schools more flexibility when it comes to compensating educators.

Hoosier educators receive an annual $100 tax credit to help cover classroom supplies. A proposal for a new law would increase the credit to $500. Teachers may use their own money to purchase supplies to fit their teaching methods, and to help students whose families are unable to afford materials.  Increasing this tax credit would help our educators cover their out-of-pocket expenses and keep their hard-earned money.

I am also sponsoring a bill that would provide more flexibility for superintendents and school corporations to increase teachers’ salaries. By giving local school corporations more control over teachers’ salaries, schools could offer compensation reflecting experience and innovation in the classroom.

A House priority bill I supported would incentivize schools to direct more dollars to the classroom. Although teacher pay decisions are made at the local level, we are hoping to encourage schools to dedicate more dollars to pay teachers. Many schools’ operational and overhead costs have sky-rocketed, taking critical dollars away from educators. This bill encourages traditional public schools to dedicate 85 percent of their education fund to the classroom. If all of Indiana’s traditional public school corporations do this, it could result in a 5 percent salary increase or more for teachers. 

Indiana has a strong education system, and these policies could help support teachers. To learn more about these proposals, visit You can also contact me with any questions or input 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.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.