Superintendent for Public Instruction calls for 3 percent budget hike

By Eddie Drews
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick called for a three percent increase on tuition support at a State Budget Committee hearing Monday.

This increase, she said, is designed to reflect the rate of inflation and would call for $214 million in the first year and $221 million in the second year of the new two-year state budget lawmakers must craft in the session that begins Jan. 3.

One issue that has united lawmakers from both parties as well as teachers’ unions is a proposal to raise teacher salaries. McCormick said her department for the first time has surveyed teachers and found that 88 percent were unsatisfied with their rate of pay.

That, she said, has led to 35 percent of teachers quitting in their first five years of teaching.

“We’re losing them as quickly as we’re getting them in,” she said.

The legislature in the past has sought to boost teacher pay by appropriating $30 million annually for Teacher Appreciation Grants, which are distributed as pay bonuses to teachers rated “effective” and “highly effective.” McCormick is seeking the same $30 million for the next two school years.

Eddie Drews is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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