Amendment to raise teacher wages fails

INDIANAPOLIS (WPTA21) — Despite a push to increase compensation for public school teachers, an amendment that would set a minimum teacher salary has failed in the Indiana House.

House Bill 1003 would set guidelines for how schools spend their money. It includes a provision meant to limit the amount of district money that would be used for administrative costs, “encouraging” school systems to direct 85 percent of their state funds into the operational budget, which includes teacher salaries.

READ MORE: Indiana debate over teacher pay boost remains unsettled

A proposed amendment that would set a minimum salary for full-time licensed teacher at $40,000 failed Thursday on a party-line vote of 63-31.

The IndyStar reports one of the arguments cited in voting down the idea was that most of Indiana’s public schools were already reaching that minimum threshold.

A May 2018 ABC21 investigative report showed more than half of teachers in Fort Wayne Community Schools made roughly the base salary, which starts at $41,650, in 2017.

READ MORE: DIGGING DEEPER: Public $chool Payroll

The IndyStar reports only 30 of Indiana’s 287 school districts had a minimum salary of $40,000 or higher for teachers.

Teacher pay continues to be a talking point for Governor Holcomb. During his State of the State address, he said he was creating the Next Level Teacher Pay Commission This commission would identify resources that could be used to make teacher compensation competitive.

READ MORE: Holcomb presses for infrastructure, education in State of the State Address

A statewide rally is scheduled for March 9 to advocate for increased teacher pay and funding for public schools. That rally will begin at 1 pm at the Indiana Statehouse.

Jacob Burbrink

Jacob Burbrink

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