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State Rep. Klinker calls for increased public education funding, teacher salary pay

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INDIANAPOLIS — State Representative Sheila Klinker (D-Lafayette), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, is calling for an increase in both public education funding and teacher salary pay in this year’s budget, House Bill 1001. Both are top priorities for the House Democratic Caucus.

However, the Republicans’ state budget advances the school voucher program at the expense of students and teachers in traditional public schools.

“Every year, we have the opportunity to raise teachers’ salaries,” Klinker said. “We cannot let it pass by again, especially this year. Teachers deserve this long overdue pay increase for all that they have done and all that we have asked them to do during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“I don’t want to hear excuses about how it’s too expensive or not feasible. We need to listen to teachers’ calls for higher pay, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to strengthen our education system.”

Indiana is now last in the Midwest and 38th in the nation for average teacher salaries. It also has the worst salary growth for teachers in the nation. Indiana is last in the Midwest and 41st in the nation in per pupil funding. Approximately 88% of Hoosier children go to traditional public schools.

The Republicans’ budget primarily funds charter and innovation schools, but does not provide the suggested teacher pay increases.

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