Teresa Meredith

Thousands of teachers are starting the process of renewing their teaching licenses before a new law goes into effect that requires educators to learn more about workforce and career-related needs for their students and communities.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Teachers around Indiana rallied Wednesday in support of increasing teacher pay beyond what Republicans in the Indiana General Assembly have proposed.

Governor Eric Holcomb has led the push for adding two percent to what the state puts into its K-12 education budget, but educators like West Lafayette High School science teacher Andi Hipsher say that’s not enough.

“We feel that the two percent will barely even cover raises and they’re taking money from us in other places, so in some corporations, ours included, we might end up having a net loss,” she says.

Indiana’s teacher salaries have been the slowest growing in the country according to a national think tank, and the state’s teachers union says it will take billions of dollars to make up for years of inadequate funding.

House Republicans are proposing a budget with modest funding increases for schools, as well as some additional dollars they say should go to educators, but advocates say it still isn’t enough for meaningful boosts to teacher pay.

The Indiana State Teacher Association announced teacher compensation is one of its top legislative priorities.

Activism among students and teachers has skyrocketed in recent weeks with strikes and walkouts across the country, and so far Indiana educators don’t have plans to join a growing number of movements in several states.

But Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith says the widespread demonstrations are getting people’s attention.

“Most of the calls though are about 'what are we going to do, and when are we going to do it,' and so when I ask them why they’re asking the question, the responses vary,” she says.

Results from the first-ever study of Indiana’s school voucher system found negative academic effects among low-income students in math, but also showed the same students could match or outperform public school peers in English – if they remained in the private school long enough.

Task Force Considers How Better To Screen New School Staffers

Jul 5, 2016
Justine Warrington / https://www.flickr.com/photos/j_dub_warrington/2103025046

Indiana’s largest teachers’ union says legislators should look at all school staff as they take steps to reduce sexual misconduct in schools.

The legislature created the committee after a recent string of high-profile sexual misconduct cases involving school staff. Indiana State Teacher’s Association President Teresa Meredith says she hopes it will study how predators enter schools.

Schools Statewide Suffering Substitute Shortages

Mar 23, 2015
Judy Baxter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/

Many school corporations say they’re now struggling find substitute teachers. It’s a trend in school districts across the county, but recent changes in the Hoosier education landscape make it a special challenge in Indiana.

Experts speculate that low pay, irregular employment patterns and poor training all contribute to the shortage of qualified substitute teachers.

Others argue the pool of candidates has shrunk because fewer college students today study to become teachers.

Bob Cotter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gibsonsgolfer/6364640471

Governor Mike Pence plans to increase performance pay for teachers, but some argue the policy he outlined in Tuesday’s State of the State address is not in teachers’ best interests.

Purdue political scientist Robert Browning says the policy may be a way to pacify both conservatives who favor performance pay over raises, but still give pay increases to the 90-percent of teachers who qualify for bonuses because the state regards them as “effective”.

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