The two-year budget approved Thursday by the Indiana legislature is unquestionably good news for Hoosier students and teachers. Thanks to a surprisingly positive revenue forecast, lawmakers had $2 billion more to spend than expected. They wisely directed the lion’s share to education.
The budget adds $1 billion for K-12 schools over the next two years. It increases “tuition support,” the state funding that pays for most school operations, by 4.6% in 2021-22 and by 4.3% in 2022-23. It includes $150 million for COVID-19 learning recovery grants and $600 million to bolster a teacher pension fund.
The legislature looked to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission for guidance on raising teacher pay – after largely ignoring the panel’s December 2020 report throughout the session. The report called for raising the starting salary for teachers to at least $40,000 and boosting overall teacher pay until it matches other Midwestern states.Continue reading