Strengthen Indiana through Education

Posted by: Kathryn Frakes  | Friday, December 19, 2014

Teachers prepare students for the future and play a vital role in their lives. Think back to a time when you were in school; are there certain teachers that really stood out or made a lasting impression on your life? These teachers might have taught in a more exciting way or showed true passion for the job, which reflected in their instruction, and it is incredible the impact and difference one effective teacher can make in our lives.

We are fortunate to have some of the best teachers in the state guiding our children, and they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work. In 2013, our state’s biennial budget allocated $30 million in teacher performance grants, which was recently rewarded to over 1,300 schools in Indiana. The distribution of teacher performance grants was the first in Indiana history. The amounts awarded to qualifying schools were based on a combination of ISTEP+ and End-of-Course Assessment passing rates as well as graduation rates per student. Teachers, who were rated either effective or highly effective, received the bonus.

I am proud of the accomplishments of our teachers and students in our community, and I want to congratulate our local schools who received some of this funding because of their outstanding performance. Since we had so many high performing teachers this year, we need to continue to put additional dollars towards rewarding them for all their hard work.

Education is the foundation of our children’s success and our teachers go above and beyond in giving our students the best opportunities. As the 2015 session approaches, House Republicans will continue to make education a priority. We will focus on the budget process, strengthening our education system and concentrate on other issues that are affecting Indiana.

Much of the groundwork that takes place during session is through standing committees. These committees receive public testimony, work out the details of proposed legislation before it is heard on the House floor and are an integral part of the legislative process.

My duties will be to serve as Vice Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and also as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development, Elections and Appointment and Veterans Affairs and Public Safety committees. I am honored to serve our community and the state in these positions to make a difference in Indiana.

As we prepare for another legislative session, I encourage you to contact me with thoughts and opinions to the issues that you think are most important to our community. By working together, we can continue to make Indiana a better place for Hoosiers.