Melton to propose statewide teacher salary increases in 2019

Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton
Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton
By The Chicago Crusader

On Tuesday, State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) announced a proposal he will bring to the General Assembly in the 2019 legislative session.

“After traveling across the state and listening to our teachers and administrators, one of the many bills I will be asking the governor and my colleagues’ to support in 2019 is one to address the startling lack of compensation teachers in the State of Indiana receive. Our teachers are taking on more responsibility and are feeling less respected and less appreciated each year.

“I am proposing we raise teacher salaries by allocating additional funds to the school funding formula in the upcoming budget session to show our teachers that we value the hard work they do for all of our state’s children. Improving teachers’ compensation will also address the prevalent teacher shortage our state has increasingly faced over the years.

“Teacher salaries in Indiana have remained stagnant in respect to inflation since 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Meanwhile, Indiana has focused its efforts on creating a strong business climate. The only way to sustain the efforts we’ve put into making Indiana business-friendly is to ensure our students are prepared to enter the workforce. Our teachers are at the very heart of what it is going to take to make them workplace-ready.

“According to the Center for Economic Performance, there is a direct correlation between rising teacher pay and positive student performance. At the end of the day, we want our students to exceed and the best way we can make sure they do is to invest in our teachers.

“The time to increase teacher pay is long overdue and I hope that my colleagues in the General Assembly as well as the governor will support this important measure when we reconvene in January.”

This article originally appeared in the Chicago Crusader.

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