Historic investments in education
Funding our schools continues to be a priority in Indiana, with half of all state spending dedicated to K-12 education. To further support Hoosier students and educators, Indiana’s recently passed two-year budget makes a historic $1.9 billion investment in K-12 education over the biennium to pay for increased teacher salaries, address learning loss and fund important programs.
This record investment includes $600 million in additional funding for public schools annually, which fulfills and exceeds the Next Level Teacher Compensation Commission’s recommendations for increasing teacher salaries. Schools are also required to dedicate at least 45% of their tuition support to set starting teacher salaries at $40,000. If these benchmarks cannot be met, schools will need to report to the Indiana Dept. of Education or request a waiver. While many local schools are meeting these standards, the recommendations push all schools across the state to give teachers raises, including our own.
Indiana’s next fiscal blueprint also allocates $37.5 million to Teacher Appreciation Grants to reward highly effective and effective educators. These grants not only support impactful teachers, but also encourage more Hoosiers to pursue this rewarding profession.
To help combat learning loss caused by disruptions from the pandemic, lawmakers dedicated $150 million to the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program. While many students naturally experience some form of learning loss during summer breaks, extended virtual learning during the pandemic caused some to fall behind in their studies during the school year. These grants will help young Hoosiers catch up and stay on track moving forward.
Other key areas of education support include funding for career and technical education programs, special education grants and health programs.
Our next two-year budget makes strong investments in K-12 education while also paving the way to pay down debt and enact future tax cuts and reforms. To learn more about our budget investing in all Hoosiers, visit indianahouserepublicans.com.
Editor’s note: State Rep. Steve Davisson, R-Salem, represents House District 73, which includes Washington County and portions of Harrison, Clark, Jackson, Lawrence and Orange counties.