On Friday, State Senate Eddie Melton (D-Gary) announced how he will address teacher pay in 2020. Sen. Melton will file a bill that would reallocate a portion of the $300 million in additional revenue that the governor plans to use to cash fund capital projects to instead increase Teacher Appreciation Grants (TAG). The bill would drive $100 million in Fiscal Year 2020 and another $100 million in Fiscal Year 2021 to TAG.
“The governor and Statehouse Republicans have made it clear that they will not address inadequate teacher salaries this upcoming legislative session, claiming there are no options to do so in a non-budget year. Based on the governor’s request to cash fund projects that are bonded in the current budget, my assumption is that the budget will have to be re-opened.
“I have found at least one option to put more money in teacher’s pockets by June 30 without negatively affecting the current budget plan, without touching the surplus and without raising taxes on Hoosiers.
“My Republican colleagues in the House and Senate now have an opportunity to prove they value and respect our teachers by supporting this bill, or they can further double down on their unwillingness to pay our teachers what they deserve.”