May: Record investments in K-12 education

Posted by: Brenda Holmes  | Friday, May 10, 2019

The 2019 legislative session came to a close after completing our work on the Indiana’s budget. We once again created a financial plan for state operations that is responsible while making a record investment in K-12 education.

Enacting the state budget was a top priority, and Indiana’s fiscal blueprint for the next two years maintains prudent reserves while providing more than $763 million in new funding for K-12 education.

House Republicans worked with organizations like the Indiana State Teachers Association, Indiana Small and Rural Schools Association and Stand For Children to help improve benefits for teachers. We increased funding for Teacher Appreciation Grants from $30 million to $37.5 million for effective and highly effective educators. With a $150 million payment to an unfunded pension liability for Hoosier educators, schools will have an estimated $70 million freed up, and are being encouraged to direct these savings to increase teachers’ salaries.

We’ve created programs to ensure educators are successful in the classroom on day one. The legislature funded a teacher residency program to better prepare educators to enter the classroom, and created teacher career ladders to increase opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Veteran teachers who mentor younger staff will be able to earn more while growing in their chosen career path.

More than half of the budget is dedicated to educating Hoosier students, reflecting how important schools are in Indiana. We made historic funding increases for education while maintaining our AAA credit rating, which saves taxpayer dollars.

Working together, we found solutions and made great strides to support education across the state.

Since session is over, I’m back in our district ready to learn about what issues we need to tackle in 2020. Your feedback is extremely helpful for me as I work on your behalf. Please reach out anytime by emailing h65@iga.in.gov or by calling 317-234-9028. To learn more about the recent legislative session, visit iga.in.gov. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community.

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 State Rep. Chris May (R-Bedford) represents House District 65, which includes all of

Brown County, most of Lawrence County and parts of Monroe, Jackson and Johnson counties.

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