Tuesday, March 1, 2011
House Out of Commission; Senate Plods Ahead to Address Education
While the Indiana House continues to sit idle, the Indiana Senate continues to move forward with its Republican-led agenda.
In the Senate, the education reform bill, Senate Bill 1, contains much of Governor Daniels' and Tony Bennett's reforms on teacher evaluation.
One provision changes the way salaries are collectively bargained. If this bill were to pass, only 33 percent of teacher salary increment increases would be based on experience. This is unlike the essentially 100 percent based on experience today.
Teachers argue that this could result in lowering of teacher pay. Bennett has none of that and has released a few pointed news releases saying that he will not support anything that lowers teacher salaries. So, who's telling the truth?
Essentially, here's what will happen...as I see it under a world where Senate Bill 1 passes.
Let's say I make $50,000 a year with a Bachelor's Degree and 15 years of experience. next year, I'm scheduled to make $52,500 a year with a Bachelor's Degree and 16 years of experience. That's how raises are essentially handed out now. That changes under SB1. Under its provisions, that $2,500 raise must be decided based on four different categories.
Thirty-three percent can come from my experience jump. That's $825. The rest of the raise comes from the other three categories: an annual evaluation (placing me into the nice, neat categories of highly effective, effective, improvement necessary, or ineffective), the assignment of instructional leadership roles, and the academic needs of a school system (as Bennett explained, a district can now target bigger raises to physics teachers if physics teachers are hard to recruit to a specific district).
Those other three categories and how the raises are divied up are open for collective bargaining. Essentially, any raise would now come from 66 percent of other things than my experience or degrees. What's that sound like to you? Now my $52,500 job for next year is just, at least, $50,825.
Again, I'm no math whiz.
Bennett's right. This is not a basic pay cut, but it's easy to argue it the other way. The increment raises that used to come with experience are now going to likely come with a little bit more on the line. This is a game changer for teachers across Indiana.
If I'm wrong on this, please correct me.