Key committee to consider DeVonís bills increasing teacher pay, retention

Posted by: Adam Kern  | Tuesday, January 8, 2019

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 8, 2019) – The House Education Committee on Wednesday is set to hear State Rep. Dale DeVon’s (R-Granger) legislation that could raise teacher pay and provide critical support to new educators.

DeVon said House Bill 1003 would incentivize schools to direct more state dollars to teachers. This bill sets a target for public schools to spend at least 85 percent of state funding on instructional expenses, which could free up more than $350 million in new resources for teachers. DeVon said these new resources would be enough for a 5 percent salary increase or more.

“In order to drive additional dollars to teachers, this legislation encourages schools to prioritize teacher pay,” DeVon said. “By improving teacher pay and providing critical support for our educators, we will equip them with the resources and skills they need to educate the leaders of tomorrow.”

According to DeVon, teacher pay decisions are made entirely at the local level through collective bargaining and budgeting. DeVon said many schools’ operational and overhead costs have ballooned, taking critical dollars away from educators. DeVon said that most schools spend about 80 percent of their state funding on instructional expenses. If schools meet the new goal of spending at least 85 percent on instructional expenses, millions of dollars could be available for Hoosier classrooms.

According to the National Education Association, Indiana’s average public school teacher salary was $54,308 in 2017, and when adjusted for cost-of-living, Indiana’s teacher pay ranked 9th highest in the nation. DeVon said that his goal of allocating additional funding to the classroom and providing critical support to teachers will demonstrate Indiana’s commitment to investing in and developing its teachers.

“In addition to raising teacher pay, it is essential that we provide teachers with the training and resources to be successful,” DeVon said. “The teacher residency grant pilot program would help new teachers hit the ground running when they enter the classroom.”

House Bill 1009 would establish a teacher residency grant pilot program, which would offer $1 million in grants and funding to schools that participate in the program and partner with approved postsecondary educational institutions that establish and implement teacher residency training.

The House Education Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday in the House Chamber. Both bills are eligible for committee amendments and public testimony.

Visit iga.in.gov to watch the committee hearing live and to learn more about HB 1003 and HB 1009.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, 
which includes portions of St. Joseph County.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo