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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.

Cases: 667262

Reported Deaths: 12737
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion913541660
Lake48729891
Allen36175646
Hamilton32489398
St. Joseph30361514
Elkhart25536420
Vanderburgh21343382
Tippecanoe20240205
Johnson16485363
Porter16077281
Hendricks15955302
Clark12079182
Madison11810323
Vigo11699234
Monroe10440164
Delaware9899179
LaPorte9838201
Howard9127203
Kosciusko8600111
Bartholomew7531147
Hancock7471134
Warrick7456153
Floyd7269173
Wayne6661192
Grant6465158
Boone618691
Morgan6135129
Dubois5942112
Dearborn551570
Cass5489100
Marshall5456105
Henry544395
Noble513878
Jackson465967
Shelby463591
Lawrence4197113
Gibson405585
Harrison404065
Clinton397653
Montgomery391984
DeKalb388278
Miami358463
Knox357886
Whitley352438
Huntington350877
Steuben340455
Putnam334660
Wabash333976
Ripley328062
Adams326349
Jasper319343
White298553
Jefferson296574
Daviess286196
Fayette272756
Decatur271688
Greene262680
Posey261732
Wells259175
Scott252150
LaGrange242670
Clay241644
Randolph226577
Spencer219630
Jennings216944
Washington213327
Sullivan203839
Fountain202842
Starke190051
Owen184254
Fulton179937
Jay178828
Carroll176919
Perry174136
Orange171451
Rush165722
Vermillion161543
Franklin160135
Tipton150041
Parke140216
Pike128633
Blackford120727
Pulaski107844
Newton96832
Brown95340
Crawford92613
Benton92513
Martin80314
Warren76014
Switzerland7568
Union67510
Ohio54211
Unassigned0427

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