Chamber-Supported Teacher Benefit Bill Offers More Options for Teachers

96631972HB 1004 was heard in Senate Pensions and Labor Committee on Wednesday; it was amended and then passed 7-4 and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill establishes the teacher’s defined contribution plan as an account within the Indiana state teachers’ retirement fund and specifies rules and regulations regarding the fund. It also provides that a school corporation may hire an individual to teach if the individual: (1) has a bachelor’s degree with at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in a content area related to the area in which the individual intends to teach; (2) has passed content area licensure assessments required by the Department of Education to teach in the area in which the applicant intends to teach; and (3) has a valid teaching license in another state; provides that the individual is considered a certificated employee; provides that a school corporation may provide a supplemental payment in excess of the salary specified in the school corporation’s compensation plan to a teacher who is, or will be, employed in a position that is difficult to fill by the school corporation; and incorporates some recommendations from the Blue Ribbon Commission regarding solutions to a teacher shortage.

An amendment was adopted to include some recommendations from the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Blue Ribbon Commission. Another amendment was defeated that would require the supplemental pay provision to be subject to collective bargaining

The Chamber is in favor of giving teachers a choice when it comes to their benefit plans and therefore supports the idea of having the option of a defined contribution plan for teachers. We believe that providing teachers with more options and choices in retirement benefits will be a strong incentive and a perk of entering the profession. It will also leave them with more options if, down the road, they choose to move to a different school district or leave the profession.

We also believe that allowing reciprocity of teaching licenses from out of state will provide an opportunity to address any potential teacher shortage issues in Indiana. It’s another motivation for teachers to relocate here.

Lastly, the Chamber strongly supports the language in the bill that would allow for school corporations to provide additional salary flexibility for high-need positions. The Indiana Chamber has always supported rewarding good teachers for the important job they do. Giving administrators the ability to offer additional payment beyond the standard salary is an important step toward recruiting the teachers we need.

All three provisions in this legislation help elevate the teaching profession and assist with potential teacher shortage issues.

4 thoughts on “Chamber-Supported Teacher Benefit Bill Offers More Options for Teachers

  1. As an individual who works with 139 public schools on a weekly basis and as someone familiar with the history of public education in Indiana, I truly believe the Chamber and the Indiana General Assembly are repeating mistakes made in our distant past. This is a return to the old trustee system of the 19th century where position and salary were linked to nepotism. One of the reasons that Governor Orr and a Republican General Assembly gave collective bargaining to teachers was to avoid the horrific public relations that existed where the rural basketball coach was given a salary twice that of a highly effective and veteran teacher. Another issue that will arise out of this will be the wealthier school districts will recruit the best talent out of the teacher pool depriving urban and rural districts of essential talent in the classroom. The problem is and has always been that successful schools exist because of cooperation, compassion, and community. Applying the doctrines of competition to the education of children is at best foolish and most likely destructive to the moral of the profession and the majority of the communities that these irresponsible policies are being forced upon.

  2. This bill is the worst thing ever for the profession of teaching!! Paying teachers more because of a “higher” demand position will cause separation of teachers and could possibly cause “shortages” of teachers in other areas — then what —- pay that position more? Why not pay ALL teachers more and that alone would draw more teachers to the profession. When I put in the hours I do and bring home less than $3000 a month – I am just barely above the qualifications for free and reduce lunches for my own children!! Just barely above!! THIS is how much we teachers feel valued — why would new students choose to be teachers? why would they put themselves in a profession that no longer is respected and looked upon as a profession? All that has happened to teachers, education, and our children in the past 10 years has hurt our children more than you can imagine and in a few short years we will see the damage in our society (some problems have already begun to show). With all the over testing (that shows nothing of growth for that individual student – nor does it show what the teacher has done), teachers are less and less able to make school exciting and fun for kids to learn – the more interesting we can make a lesson, the more kids will remember. Please vote AGAINST this bill!!

  3. This is a terrible bill that has nothing to do with alleviating the Indiana teacher shortage, but everything to do with breaking down teachers ability to negotiate contracts (union busting), demeaning the profession once again, and demolishing public schools. It is the worst bill ever this session, and there have been many.

  4. This bill will not alleviate the teacher shortage and in fact will worsen it. It will only pit teachers against each other to compete for pay. There is no new money allocated with the bill. This means that teachers not receiving the extra pay will actually receive a pay cut. A school cannot and should not be run as a business if it is to be successful. Please stop posting information about education when your chamber has no direct involvement or information. Many people take the posts from this blog as fact when they are actually the opinion of an uninformed group.

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