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Amid Union Opposition, Lawmakers Scrap Plan To Offer Extra Pay For Teachers

Posted On March 04, 2016

By Mike Perleberg

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(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Teachers across Indiana can forget about the possibility of an extra pay bump.

Lawmakers on Thursday killed a plan to allow schools to hand out some extra incentive bonuses to individual teachers. The Republican proposal, Senate Bill 10, was brought forth as a potential tool to help address a drop in first-time teaching licenses being issued by the Indiana Department of Education.

The plan authored by southeast Indiana Senator Jeff Raatz (R-Centerville) would’ve allowed superintendents to offer an incentive to attract new teachers, but teachers already on the job feared the payments would be unfair.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) blamed “misinformation” and reservations by Governor Mike Pence for the bill’s demise.

Teachers unions including the Indiana State Teachers Association argued that the bill would have circumvented collective bargaining.

“I’d like to thank our members, superintendents, parents and others for their advocacy on this issue,” said ISTA President Teresa Meredith. “We also want to thank legislators. Ensuring that there is a caring and qualified teacher in every classroom is one of our top priorities for Hoosier kids. We look forward to working with the legislature in addressing the teacher shortage together.”

Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) agreed with killing the bill, saying lawmakers need to have the buy-in of educators in order for bills to move forward.

“It’s time to stop being perceived as being anti-teacher, and we need to do some things that are perceived as pro-teacher. That’s the goal of these bills,” Long told the Star.

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