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Report on Indiana teacher pay on hold until after election

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until after the Nov. 3 election.

Posted: Oct 12, 2020 10:38 AM
Updated: Oct 12, 2020 3:19 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration is holding off on releasing a report with recommendations on teacher salaries until after the Nov. 3 election.

The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission was selected in February 2019 to examine long-term solutions for increasing the state's lagging wages for educators. Initially, a 60-page draft report was expected this summer so lawmakers could review it while devising a new two-year state budget in January.

But it was pushed to the second half of the year because of the pandemic.

Chairman Michael Smith, a retired Indianapolis business executive, said it wouldn’t be fair to release the report because of the state's fragile economic predicament. The report consists of more than 40 suggestions. Smith told The Journal Gazette that the public will eventually have an opportunity to see it, though he didn't indicate when.

“Likely not before the election, but it isn’t related,” he said.

Holcomb spokeswoman Rachel Hoffmeyer said the pandemic substantially altered plans, but the commission is still working on a final report to be released before the end of 2020.

“Commission members continue to monitor the financial impact of the pandemic, analyze data and work with stakeholders to develop recommendations," he added.

Smith said the panel was tasked with confirming a wage disparity with 12 neighboring and benchmark states and providing recommendations that include increased funding, cuts to spending and potential policy changes.

“We would like to have been done now. The pandemic changed lots of things,” he said. “We have to be respectful of what is going on. There are a lot of important issues before the state right now.”

Indiana State Teachers Association President Keith Gambill said educators face overwhelming pressure and the state needs to find the funds to adequately compensate them.

“We understand conditions have changed and it is going to make it more difficult for the governor and legislators to work to fix that,” he added. “I’m not sure why they are holding back. If it is for political reasons, then I think that’s weak on their part.”

The group had a representative on the commission's advisory panel but not a voting member.

“In the end, our position remains the same. We know that the overwhelming reason folks leave the profession is due to pay. And if we are going to ever get a handle on the shortage we are facing for teachers and be able to retain the best and to attract folks into the profession we are going to have to do better in pay,” Gambill said.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 162607

Reported Deaths: 4130
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25871792
Lake14222358
St. Joseph9532166
Elkhart9156137
Allen8552230
Hamilton6335114
Vanderburgh609062
Tippecanoe391815
Porter341650
Hendricks3367134
Monroe333238
Johnson3239130
Delaware307675
Clark303163
Vigo272440
Madison248096
LaPorte236161
Cass228523
Warrick201565
Kosciusko198427
Floyd185868
Howard168466
Bartholomew146958
Dubois145526
Marshall145126
Wayne137931
Henry131330
Grant131039
Boone128050
Hancock123144
Noble121935
Jackson118517
Dearborn101728
Morgan98940
Lawrence94737
Gibson92812
Daviess91334
Clinton90316
Shelby89431
LaGrange82815
Knox81310
Harrison79924
Posey7667
Putnam76616
DeKalb75811
Fayette73918
Jasper6655
Miami6615
Steuben6578
Montgomery62022
White61016
Greene57338
Scott54513
Decatur52539
Adams5237
Whitley4796
Ripley4748
Clay4587
Sullivan45514
Wells44911
Wabash4389
Starke4378
Huntington4365
Orange42125
Spencer4126
Washington3863
Franklin38125
Randolph38110
Jennings37913
Fulton3764
Perry36114
Jefferson3525
Pike34318
Carroll33813
Jay3316
Fountain3193
Tipton28223
Vermillion2681
Parke2504
Newton23611
Blackford2344
Rush2304
Owen2111
Martin2040
Pulaski1753
Crawford1631
Brown1463
Ohio1337
Union1140
Benton1100
Switzerland970
Warren891
Unassigned0236

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