Teacher shortage

The Indiana Department of Education says Indiana’s teacher shortage is counterproductive to its priorities.

(WFIU/WTIU)
Lauren Chapman

How to fix a statewide teacher shortage is still a big question for many schools, but an Indianapolis-based group has announced a new effort to recruit more qualified teachers, in a city with high turnover rates.

Peter Balonon-Rosen / IPBS

Lawmakers are giving mixed input on a bill about teacher licensing waivers, and members of a House committee shared concerns about the proposal during a meeting Thursday.

Department of Education Outlines 2018 Priorities

Nov 28, 2017

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick released her priorities for 2018, and those strategies target three areas: student learning, operational effectiveness and school improvement. In this last category, she says she wants to make it easier for teachers licensed in one content area to teach an additional subject if they have the experience.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

PROPERTY TAXES FOR FARMERS

The House and Senate Thursday passed a bill that addresses what supporters call rapidly increasing tax bills for farmers. The bill, now headed to the governor’s desk, changes the way those taxes are calculated.

Indiana’s agricultural land taxes are based on income rather than the underlying value of property. Some say the formula that generates that tax is outdated, and that a string of bad years for crop farmers has amplified the problem.

Jim Nix / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimnix/5039079018

ABORTION BANS

After days of negotiations and nearly an hour of emotional debate on the floor, the House Wednesday sent a bill to the governor that bans abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ sex, race or disability.

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Fewer people are signing up to become teachers in Indiana. The number of new licenses dropped over 10,000 in three school years.  Hoping to combat the trend, lawmakers are focusing on two new actions taking aim at this problem.

The first attempt to increase the teaching force in Indiana comes from the legislature, which kicked off its 2016 session this week. House Speaker Brian Bosma says he will file a bill that creates a new program, called the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

In considering solutions for recruiting new teachers and retaining existing personnel to combat Indiana's teacher shortage, state education leaders know they need more English Language Learning instructors.

ELL teachers are hard to come by in Indiana, as well as in other states – and, as StateImpact Indiana's Rachel Morello reports, the problem is two-fold:

Not only is there a limited number of qualified ELL instructors, but the state expects them to be able to speak and relate to students from all cultures represented in their student population.

Judy Baxter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/

As Indiana policymakers prepare for the 2016 legislative session, they are defining the issues they plan to address – and, like last year, education falls near the top of the list. Measures to address Indiana's teacher shortage will take precedence this session; lawmakers’ agenda mirrors that of many education leaders in the state: teacher recruitment and retention.

Judy Baxter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/

Despite assertions from conservative economists and lawmakers, the data is clear: Indiana is indeed experiencing a teacher shortage.

Since the issue came to legislators’ attention this summer, the Department of Education confirmed that the Hoosier State has seen more than a 30-percent drop in the number of people licensed as first-time teachers.

What’s still a bit blurry is what policymakers will do to remedy the problem.

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