This week, Governor Holcomb’s office proclaimed 99 percent of teachers received a raise in 2019, a sentiment echoed by the House GOP Caucus’ Twitter account. Speaker Brian Bosma, citing ‘anecdotal evidence,’ claimed teachers were receiving ‘historic’ pay increases. The reality? More than half the state’s public school districts reported minimum pay that dropped or remained flat.
From the Indianapolis Star Some, not all school districts gave raises last school year
“Last year, more than half of public school districts failed to increase the minimum pay offered in their districts. Of the 287 school districts that filed collective bargaining agreements with the state for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, 160 of them reported minimum pay that either remained flat, or dropped. In the 127 districts where the minimum pay did increase, it was by an average of $1,050.
“The results were also mixed for teachers at the upper end of the pay scale. More than half of districts – 180 of the 287 IndyStar examined – did report an increase in maximum pay, but another 107 did not. The top pay in those districts either dropped, or remained flat. Even at districts where pay did increase, the average pay often dropped – a sign that the average experience level of the teachers within the district likely dropped.”
Strange, too, that Holcomb, on the biggest stage, juggled a promise he made in December 2019 to “to be in the top three in our neighborhood in the Midwest [in teacher pay]. It’s dollars and cents. I want to adequately and fairly compensate our teachers.” A previous study had pegged the investment level to achieve the regional median for teacher salaries at $650 million. Holcomb loosely committed just a fraction of that in his State of the Speech, fueling speculation that the governor is backing away from his prior promise.
“Holcomb and his GOP allies in the Statehouse are playing three-card monte with the truth on teacher pay,” said Zody. “Holcomb and Bosma need to apologize for woefully misrepresenting the facts when claiming 99 percent of teachers received a raise. It’s a flat out lie. Shifty verbiage and ‘anecdotal evidence’ can’t erase the reality: teachers aren’t getting significant, across-the-board raises this year. The 20,000 Hoosier educators who rallied on Republicans’ front lawn aren’t buying Bosma or Holcomb’s sleight of hand.”