INDIANAPOLIS — On Thursday, the governor presented his budget requests to the State Budget Committee. State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) noticed the governor’s omission in asking for additional money to fund teacher salary increases.

“Governor Holcomb neglected to request necessary funding to provide teachers across Indiana with a pay raise. The entire Republican supermajority is boasting they support teacher pay, but the proof is in the pudding ⸺why aren’t they proving their support by adequately funding education to make teacher salary increases a reality? Without new money, there is no way to ensure that teachers will actually receive a raise.

“The lack of commitment to our teachers is just as evident in the Indiana House. After seeing the House Republicans’ proposal on teacher salaries, it has become very clear to me that this is in no way a teacher pay bill, but rather, a school reporting bill. House Bill 1003 adds 20 new reporting requirements for school administrators and does not stipulate anywhere in the bill that teachers receive a pay increase.

“My proposal intends to increase teacher salaries by five percent over the next two years by putting money directly into the pockets of our educators. We cannot ask that school corporations further tighten the drawstrings on administrative costs, such as transportation and food services, and essentially move money from one pocket to the other to better fund classrooms.

“We have to make this explicitly clear: Indiana is losing teachers at an alarming rate. We are unable to attract Hoosiers to the field, and those who were at one point working in the classroom are leaving for better paying jobs because they are simply tired of being overworked and underpaid. No teacher should have to work a second job just to make ends meet.”