INDIANAPOLIS – The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission released its report detailing recommendations for making teacher pay competitive with surrounding states.
During his 2019 State of the State Address, Governor Eric. J. Holcomb tasked the 13-member commission with providing proposals prior to the 2021 legislative session.
“I am grateful to the commission for its dedication to developing these recommendations,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The report provides a wide range of actions for all to review and consider moving forward. The options offer a base for continuing these important conversations about making compensation for our hard-working teachers more competitive.”
The report includes 37 recommendations for local school corporations and state government that could improve teacher compensation through expense reallocation, additional revenues or policy changes.
The commission collected feedback from more than 1,000 teachers and citizens through online surveys and community forums. Additionally, the commission worked with school and district administrators, leaders of state education-related associations and many others.
“I’ve been privileged to work alongside my fellow commission members, who include current and former educators, business leaders, and some of the most experienced education professionals in Indiana,” Commission Chairman Michael L. Smith said. “Ensuring Indiana teachers receive competitive compensation is a high priority and will require everyone involved to work together toward that goal. Our report provides practical tools to help accomplish this.”
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), chair of the House Education Committee, said, “Supporting our educators remains a top priority. Over the last few years, we have made historic investments in K-12 funding, directed more dollars to the classroom and found ways for teachers to earn more while still doing what they love. I appreciate the commission’s work over the past 18 months and will thoughtfully consider their recommendations as we work through proposals to strengthen our support for Hoosier teachers.”
As a part of the Governor’s ongoing effort to improve teacher compensation, Gov. Holcomb used $150 million to pay down a pension liability that schools fund which is resulting in higher teacher salaries in districts across the state.
Additionally, Gov. Holcomb took steps to make sure the record increase to K-12 funding secured for the current state budget is protected despite revenue shortfalls caused by the pandemic.
Volunteer citizen members of the commission include:
- Commission Chairman Michael L. Smith (Indianapolis), former chairman, president and CEO of Mayflower Group and former executive vice president and CFO of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Melissa Ambre (Noblesville), director of the Office of School Finance for the Indiana Department of Education
- Jená Bellezza (Gary), COO of Indiana Parenting Institute
- Tom Easterday (Zionsville), former senior executive vice president, secretary & chief legal officer for Subaru of Indiana Automotive
- Rebecca Gardenour (New Albany), member of the New Albany-Floyd County Board of School Trustees and member of the Indiana School Boards Association
- Emily Holt (Arcadia), math teacher at Westfield High School
- Dan Holub (Indianapolis), executive director of the Indiana State Teachers Association
- Katie Jenner (Madison), senior education advisor to Gov. Holcomb
- Bob Jones (Evansville), retired chairman and CEO of Old National Bancorp
- Nancy Jordan (Fort Wayne), former senior vice president of Lincoln Financial Group
- Lee Ann Kwiatkowski (Muncie), director of public education and CEO of Muncie Community Schools
- Denise Seger (Granger), chief human resource officer for Concord Community Schools in Elkhart
- David Smith (Evansville), superintendent of Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
To view a full copy of the report, please click here.