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Michiana teachers make their case for better pay before commissioners

NOW: Michiana teachers make their case for better pay before commissioners

ELKHART, Ind. --- Hundreds of teachers are showing up to speak out for higher teacher pay in Indiana.

The Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission made its last stop in Elkhart Tuesday. It’s part of a state tour organized by Governor Eric Holcomb’s office to take the first steps towards increasing teacher pay in the state.

Dozens took to the podium to give their suggestions on how to increase teacher pay to the compensation commission. Some suggestions included reducing funding for charter schools and even creating a #RedForEd lottery ticket.

Teachers also addressed feeling undervalued and unsupported at Tuesday’s meeting.

A recent survey ranked Indiana last for teacher salary raises. Over a 15 year period, Indiana teachers only saw about a $7,000 pay increase. In the same time period, teachers in Alaska saw an almost $28,000 increase.

Linda Lucy with the South Bend National Education Association issues with low pay trickle back down to recruiting talent and also back down to the students.  

“Every state around us competes for the same talent pool and we are last. We will not attract and we will not retain,” Lucy said. “It’s time for Indiana to start treating our teachers and our students better.”

The recommendations heard by the commission tonight will be taken to Governor Eric Holcomb and the general assembly before the 2021 session.

From there, state lawmakers will discuss ways to make teacher pay more competitive in Indiana.

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