Teachers and community members listen as state Rep. Chris Campbell, D-West Lafayette, speak, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette. Greater Lafayette teachers and community members gathered outside schools before walking in to demand teacher salary raises. (Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
Teachers and community members listen as state Rep. Chris Campbell, D-West Lafayette, speak, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Cumberland Elementary School in West Lafayette. Greater Lafayette teachers and community members gathered outside schools before walking in to demand teacher salary raises. (Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier)
LAFAYETTE — Tensions remain high for Indiana teachers as the days count down until the state budget is finalized.

The Senate released a budget proposal Thursday morning that would increase funding more than the House's proposal but educators remain cautiously optimistic.

The Senate's version sets aside $14.9 billion for K-12 funding with 2.7 percent in 2020 and 2.2 percent in 2021.

This supersedes the House's 2.1 and 2.2 percent increases but still falls short of Indiana State Teacher Association's demand for 3 percent. 

Teachers say they're holding out for those extra decimals.

Teachers want a salary raise, not merit bonus

At Wednesday's teacher walk-in ISTA President Teresa Meredith told a crowd in West Lafayette that state legislators would never let businesses sink to last place in profitability, referring to Indiana's dismal standing as 50th in the nation for salary increases.

“We have seen them time and time again move heaven and Earth and change whatever laws they needed to benefit business,” she said. “It’s time that they do that for schools too.”

Marydell Forbes, West Lafayette Education Association co-president, reiterated the same frustration after looking at the Senate's proposal.

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