I commend our state legislature and Governor Holcomb on claiming public education is a priority this session. I take issue with the narrative portrayed by Representative Bacon in regards to funding and teacher pay.
Recently a flyer went out to constituents claiming the state legislature is "Driving Dollars to Teachers." This false claim is in reference to an 85/15 guideline, HB 1003, which encourages school districts to spend 85% of their education fund on classroom instruction and 15% can be moved to the operations fund for everything not related to instruction. "Driving Dollars to Teachers" is a misrepresentation because it is portrayed as teacher raises. The school corporations in his district are already at or above this percentage when spending the education fund.
If teachers do not get significant pay raises that cover more than just the inevitable increase in our insurance premiums, certain legislators will turn around and use this against public education. The blame will fall on schools, as Representative Bacon said in the January Meet Your Legislators event put on by the Southwestern League of Women Voters, "We give them money. They're all treated the same. It's a [local] issue."
I ask, as this legislative session ends, you not to fall for the pseudo-supporting language some legislators are speaking. Educate yourselves and understand that 85/15 does not put money in teacher's pockets nor does it give school corporations, already at this level, the opportunity to provide more money toward education expenses.