The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today slammed Governor Eric Holcomb for breaking his promise made during the 2020 State of the State Address and last year’s gubernatorial election to increase the pay for Indiana’s teachers. In his biennial budget submitted to the Indiana General Assembly last week, Gov. Holcomb intentionally omitted any provision to provide a necessary wage increase for public school teachers, and in turn, moved the goal posts once again — more than a year after thousands of educators participated in the “Red for Ed” march in November 2019.
Further, the omission directly contradicts the taxpayer-funded “Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission” Holcomb released and used as an excuse about why he was against increasing teachers’ pay during his 2020 State of the State Address last year. According to the Commission’s own report, Indiana ranks 38th in the nation on teacher pay.
“It’s simple: Governor Eric Holcomb didn’t follow through when he promised repeatedly to increase teachers’ pay in 2021,” said John Zody, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Holcomb’s failure to include a wage increase for some of our essential workers diminishes his credibility and makes it hard for any Hoosier to trust him when he talks about our classrooms. Indiana’s teachers deserve a pay raise, and they deserve to be next in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.”
Here’s a sampling of how Holcomb’s broken promise played across Indiana last week:
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette: “Nothing in his budget directly addresses teacher pay but the administration continues to encourage local districts to pass the tuition support dollars onto teachers.”
IndyStar: “While Holcomb is calling for modest increases in the state’s K-12 spending, his proposal does not include anything specifically related to teacher pay.
A report on the state’s teacher pay problem, which was commissioned by Holcomb, was released last month. It found that the state would need to make an investment of at least $600 million — through a combination of new dollars, savings and reallocations — to become competitive regionally.
The pension pay down Holcomb is proposing was among the report’s many recommendations, but the governor doesn’t direct those savings to teachers’ salaries.”
NWI Times: “The governor’s budget does not directly allocate any money for teacher pay raises — once again leaving it up to local school district leaders to decide whether that’s how they want to spend the additional per student tuition support they receive from the state.”