State Superintendent casts doubt on Governor’s teacher pay plan

(Photo supplied/Yorktown Community Schools)

INDIANAPOLIS (Network Indiana): “Disappointing” is how State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick describes Gov. Holcomb’s State of the State address from Tuesday night.

The governor pledged to set aside money for helping teachers get a pay raise, but he said nothing could be done about it until next year when a new state budget is put together. He proposes using $260 million in extra money the state will take in this year and using it towards paying off teacher retirement funds, thus opening up money for raises.

McCormick, a fellow Republican, says she’s heard all this before.

“Promises are promises. I also know too, having been a local superintendent, you know everyone is saying ‘oh, we’ll give you the money at the next budget, the next biennium.’ But if the revenues are down will we see those new dollars? So we need (raises) now.”

The average salary for a teacher in Indiana is just north of $50,000 a year — the lowest average salary in the region.

“I know we’re still losing teachers. It’s hard to attract teachers,” said McCormick. “I talked to districts, they’ve lost teachers at Christmas, the New Year. A boost in pay could definitely help with that.”

McCormick urges teachers not to be discouraged and to “keep in with the good fight.”

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