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2020 ISTA priorities include teacher pay raise, externship law repeal

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Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 17:20:42-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The state’s biggest teachers’ union wants lawmakers to know – Hoosier teachers want more money.

That was the top priority announced today by the Indiana State Teachers Association for the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

The ISTA wants state lawmakers to make a $75 million investment from the budget surplus for a pay increase for teachers. In 2017, the average Indiana teacher made a little more than $58,000, which is 26th in the country.

“The state is taking in over $400 million above projection,” ISTA President Keith Gambill said. “We’re calling on the legislature to invest 75 million of that into public education. We know it isn’t a budget year. We know it is a short session. But they have the ability to do that.”

Neither Governor Eric Holcomb nor the leaders in the Indiana House of Representatives have indicated they will entertain any pay increases for teachers in the 2020 session.

The other two top priorities for the ISTA are more likely to become reality.

They are calling on lawmakers to hold school and teachers harmless from low ILEARN scores last year and a repeal of a 2019 law on educator externships.

Holcomb and the legislature leaders have said holding teachers harmless is a priority for 2020 as well. Holcomb listed changing the 2019 externship law, but it’s unclear if the change will satisfy the ISTA.

Click here to read ISTA's full legislative priority list for 2020.