How much does Indiana need to catch up to surrounding states on teacher pay?
The short answer? $658.1 million—that’s the cost of bringing Indiana teacher pay to the regional median.
In a thorough look at the teacher crisis in Indiana written by Public Impact’s Stephanie Dean, Stand for Children Indiana and Teach Plus make the case that teachers aren’t being paid enough, they have little room for career growth, and the state does a poor job training and retaining teachers.
Stand for Children Indiana and Teach Plus make three key recommendations to the Indiana General Assembly in Addressing Indiana’s Quiet Teaching Crisis: A Sensible Blueprint for Progress. The groups call for smart policies that will increase teacher pay, provide career growth pathways, and elevate the teaching profession so Indiana attracts and retains the best and the brightest teachers.
The numbers make the problems clear: Starting pay for teachers in some Indiana districts is near the poverty line. Indiana teacher pay dropped 15 percent between 2000 and 2017 when adjusted for inflation, from $59,986 to $50,554—and Indiana teachers earn 17 percent less than college graduates in other fields. As a result, Indiana’s pipeline of new teachers is drying up, with a 60 percent drop in individuals entering Indiana’s teacher preparation programs from 2008–09 to 2013–14. Nearly all Indiana districts struggle to find qualified candidates for teacher openings.
The report’s recommendations, backed up with national examples including the Opportunity Culture model and Louisiana’s teacher residency requirements:
- Like such states as Oklahoma, which last year invested more than $400 million in teacher pay, Indiana should initiate a meaningful increase in funding for teacher compensation to become comparable with other professions and competitive with surrounding states;
- For districts to receive this increased funding for compensation, state leaders should require them to develop well-designed career ladders and provide state-sponsored technical assistance to support successful transition; and
- To improve preparation and talent recruitment, the state should make a meaningful investment to support district efforts to provide teachers-in-training with a paid, full-year residency.
“I invest so much in my work to provide the best education for students. It is time for the State of Indiana to invest in me, to ensure I can continue to provide that quality education.” —Allison Larty, Indianapolis Public Schools Spanish teacher.
For more, see media coverage of the report:
- Indiana teacher pay is lower than every neighboring state. Here’s how much it would take to fix that.
- ‘Truly a crisis’: Teachers say pay only one part of addressing teacher shortage
- Can Indiana finally make the teaching profession competitive? (no longer available online)
- Indiana debate over teacher pay boost remains unsettled
- Groups have plan to retain teachers: $658 million would go toward pay raises (no longer available online)
- The price tag for making teacher salary competitive in Indiana is $658 million