A teacher pay plan is entering its final negotiations at the statehouse. Both the House and Senate voted to encourage schools to earmark 85% of their budgets for the classroom, however the Senate added a requirement for schools to submit a plan for reaching that goal if they do not get there within three years.
Granger Representative Dale DeVon, who authored the original bill, says that’s too long to wait to address what legislators agree should be a priority. Negotiators are also discussing whether 85% is the right number, or if it needs to move up or down.
House and Senate Republicans are in agreement about not ordering local schools to spend their money a certain way. DeVon says some schools spend as little as 60% of their money in the classroom and have good reasons why that is all they can do. He says the goal is to make local administrators think about their priorities more in-depth than they currently do.
DeVon says schools spend an average of 80% of their budgets in the classroom, and points out that every percent they can add to that will put an extra $70-million in teachers’ pockets.
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