Indiana Senate Democrats offered their plans Thursday to boost teacher pay – in both the short term and the long term.
The proposals wouldn’t reduce money from the state’s existing budget.
Sen. Eddie Melton’s (D-Gary) plan would use excess state surplus dollars to put $100 million a year more this school year and next into existing teacher appreciation grants. Melton uses Indianapolis Public School teachers as an example: they currently get an average $350 a year from the grants.
“Under this bill, they would receive over $1,100,” Melton says.
Sen. Karen Tallian’s (D-Ogden Dunes) plan is more ambitious. She wants to change the pace at which the state is paying off a teacher pension fund. It wouldn’t affect those pensions – but it would free up a lot of money.
“This is a 20-year plan that will get you at least $100 million a year,” Tallian says.
Republicans have said steps to increase teacher pay must wait until the 2021 session, in a new budget.