INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb said today he wants Indiana teachers to have salaries in the top three in the Midwest. But not any time soon.
"It’s dollars and cents. I want to adequately and fairly compensate our teachers but I also want to steal some teachers from other states," he said during an annual Legislative Conference hosted by Bingham Greenebaum Doll.
He said a teacher pay commission that is currently working on recommendations could have a report on how to fill the gap in the spring – after legislators have ended their session. Discussion could begin then for crafting the next two-year budget in 2021.
This is despite thousands of teachers coming to the Statehouse several weeks ago to fight for a number of initiatives. Legislative leaders had already said pay would not be addressed in 2020.
Teachers and Democrats are pushing to invest about $300 million in unexpected excess revenue to teacher pay but Republicans have balked.
The GOP wants to use the money to pay cash for several university and state building projects instead of bonding it – which ultimately will free up money in the future.
Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said it is irresponsible to use one-time money for an ongoing obligation. And he noted that would be the state directly giving money only for teacher pay – instead of sending overall dollars and letting local districts decide how to spend it.