NewsPublic Affairs / March 4, 2016

Controversial Teacher Pay Bill Killed In Senate, Done For Session

Controversial Teacher Pay Bill Killed In Senate, Done For Session

The House killed a controversial bill that would have allowed superintendents to give teachers raises without negotiating with the teacher’s union.

Alexander McCall/WFIU

INDIANAPOLIS -- The House killed a bill Thursday that would have allowed superintendents to increase pay for teachers outside of the traditional collective bargaining process with a teacher’s union.

The controversial SB 10 aimed to help school superintendents attract and retain teachers by allowing them to increase teacher pay at their own discretion and outside of the collective bargaining process.

Teacher unions pushed back hard against the bill, saying it could pit teachers against one another if one teacher went through the negotiating process and another didn’t.

Last week, the Senate killed HB 1004, a bill with similar language, citing this concern as their reason. Senate President Pro Tem David Long said the bill was being perceived as “anti-teacher” and the Senate wanted more time to study the issue.

But after HB 1004 died the House put SB 10 back in play and it was up for third reading today. Long urged the House to not pass the bill and take the Senate’s lead with the issue.

“There are some good ideas in that bill but it’s gotten to the point where the teaching community doesn’t support it and they don’t see it as supportive of the profession,” Long says. “They see it as the opposite and that’s not the goal. I think we have to have buy in of the education profession of these ideas in order to move them forward.”

The House eventually did follow the Senate’s lead, and didn’t call down SB 10 for third reading this afternoon.

Rep. Tony Cook, R-Cicero, sponsored the bill in the House and previously worked as a superintendent. He says the House ultimately decided to kill the bill for similar reasons, but still thinks it could have help districts in urban and rural areas attract and retain teachers in hard to fill areas.

“I think there were a lot of those positives, we just need a little more massaging, we need to come back and introduce it again,” Cook says. “We need to involve some more folks, including teachers.”

This bill was one of many this session that aim to help the state address its teacher shortage.

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