Final Teacher Pay Hearing Comes to Concord Junior High

Aug 27, 2019


Educators dressed in red filled Concord Junior High for the final public meeting for the Governor's Teacher Pay Commission on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.
Credit Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

Educators gathered in Elkhart Tuesday night for the third and final hearing on teacher pay in Indiana.

Teacher after teacher came out of the sea of red for ed t-shirts to the microphone at Concord Junior High to tell the state that teachers should be paid more.

The meeting was led by Governor Eric Holcomb’s Teacher Pay Commission. They’ve been tasked with figuring out how to fund paying teachers more.

“We are not here to question if we should raise teacher compensation in Indiana," Denise Seger, head of human resources at Concord and on the advisory council to the commission opened the meeting. "We’re here as a thoughtful group of people to discuss how we will raise teacher compensation in Indiana.”

The same suggestions came up time and again: eliminate vouchers and charter schools, change tax structures and caps, drop expensive standardized testing, and reinstate salary schedules to attract and retain teachers. 

Or to spend some of the state’s surplus on schools. “And we find, how much money did we find? That we didn’t know we had?" Deb Wooden Riley, a retired teacher from South Bend, said. "I’m a fifth grade math teacher. If somebody needs help figuring it out I’d be glad to do that.”

The commission’s report is expected ahead of the 2021 legislative session.