Behning’s bill creating teacher career ladders, mentorship programs could soon be law

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Wednesday, April 10, 2019 9:27 am

STATEHOUSE (April 10, 2019) – State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation that would provide educators additional opportunities to earn more while remaining in the classroom could soon become law after Tuesday’s unanimous vote in the Indiana Senate.

Behning said many teachers see the only way to advance in their career is to leave the classroom and become a school administrator. Under his legislation, school corporations could implement career ladders and mentorship programs, to pair veteran educators with new teachers and compensate those who take on additional roles.

“In order to encourage talented teachers to stay in the classroom doing what they love, there needs to be opportunities for these professionals to grow in their role,” said Behning, chair of the House Education Committee. “These career ladders would allow educators to share their experience with their colleagues. This additional support and mentoring is also critical to keeping new teachers in the profession.” 

According to Behning, educators who leave the profession within the first five years often cite lack of support. Behning said these mentor programs would provide much-needed guidance and could help close the gaps current professional development programs do not meet.

Funding for schools to implement these programs would be provided in the state’s biennial budget. 

This legislation stems from a collaborative effort with the Indiana State Teachers Association, Teach Plus, Stand for Children and lawmakers on several pieces of legislation, including House Enrolled Act 1008, to encourage high-performing educators to stay in the classroom and help newer teachers grow. 

House Enrolled Act 1008 is now eligible for further action by the governor. To learn more, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,

which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.