Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

House Budget Proposal Eliminates Teacher Bonus Program

The Indiana Statehouse. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The Indiana Statehouse. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The Indiana House of Representatives revealed its first draft of the state budget for the next two years Wednesday, which eliminates the teacher bonus program and re-invests that money into general K-12 spending.

The teachers performance grants are based mainly on how students perform on state tests. In 2016, the formula that calculates these bonuses created a huge disparity, with some teachers getting thousands of dollars and some teachers receiving nothing. The House budget gets rid of the program and re-invests the $40 million into general K-12 spending.

Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville), who also heads the Senate budget committee, says he disagrees with eliminating the state funded teacher bonus program.

“That’s a concept that I think is pretty important, and I hope we can develop it properly. This last year, two years’ experience, was bad but it was an unforeseen occurrence,” Kenley says.

The disparity in the bonuses for the highest rated teachers grew after another statewide dip in ISTEP+ scores. The formula allocates less money to teachers in lower scoring districts.

To keep the program and fix the disparity, lawmakers like Kenley would have to re-write the law.

The House’s budget proposal would also increase overall school funding by almost 3 percent. The increases also apply to special education and English learner funding. It would also double funding to the pre-K pilot program.

The budget bill is now open to amendments.



  • Paddy Pearse

    but it was an unforeseen occurrence,” Kenley says.

    Not really as it played out pretty much how most people expected. ISTEP is essentially a measure of poverty. Poorer communities have poorer results, wealthier communities have better results. Is it really any surprise that 2 of the wealthiest corporations in Carmel and Zionsville were the top 2 recipients? Heck, the top of the list reads like a ranking of communities by wealth and lack of poverty. Zionsville, Carmel, Brownsburg, HSE, Southern Hancock, West Lafayette, Westfield, Center Grove, etc.

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