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1/7/2019 5:42:00 PM
Higher teacher pay in House GOP vision for legislative session

Niki Kelly, Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS -- House Republicans on Monday laid out their vision for the 2019 legislative session, highlighted by a push to raise teacher pay.

Also high on the list is passing a balanced budget and giving the Indiana Department of Child Services new funding and support.

Lawmakers provide funding for K-12 schools every year via the state' tuition support formula. But local school boards decide where to spend the money and bargain with teachers on pay.

That is why House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) said his caucus want to set a goal of getting 85 percent of those state dollars into the classroom -- and will produce a report showing what districts meet it or not.

"This is not a mandate," he said. "This is a guideline."

Schools as of Jan. 1 have an Education Fund and Operations Fund. The Education Fund is where state tuition dollars go, while operations have local property tax dollars. Each school board has to pass a resolution on how much it will transfer out of education into operations for expenses such as human resources, utilities and food service.

Bosma said anecdotal reports show some districts making large transfers and others much smaller. Conventional wisdom was the average transfer would be between 18 percent and 20 percent, so Republicans worked with stakeholders to come up with the 85 percent number to stay.

He described tracking -- and publicizing -- this statistic as a stick in putting pressure on local boards to put money toward salaries instead of administration.

Related Links:
• Journal Gazette full text

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• Hot issues will keep Indiana General Assembly cooking in cold months ahead
• Teacher pay hike only shared priority for House Republicans and Indiana Black Legislative Caucus
• Lawmakers, organizations press school districts to save money by cutting support staff
• EDITORIAL: Now's the time to raise teacher pay in Indiana
• Top Indiana teachers union tells governor that Hoosier educators need pay raises now
• Here's what's on Indiana legislators' and governor's plates for the 2019 session
• Governor's two-year budget proposal grows school funding by $289 million
• Indiana Rep. Ryan Hatfield thinks teachers should make at least $50,000 annually
• Lawmakers want to pay Indiana teachers more, but struggle over how to do it

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