Teaching in Indiana
Even before the national recession, state economists had been concerned about declining incomes in Indiana for more than a decade. More recently, Indiana University economist Timothy Slaper conducted a study in 2010 that determined the state’s wage gap exists almost entirely due to the inadequate amount of higher-wage occupations in Indiana. In order to remedy this situation, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels made education reform the focus of his term as governor. With better education, Indiana will have more people capable of obtaining higher-wage jobs. Now more than ever before, Indiana looks to its teachers.Instead of giving teachers raises based upon number of years spent teaching or amount of extra education, raises are awarded based upon performance. A teacher rated ineffective is prohibited from receiving a raise, and a teacher who remains ineffective for two years is fired. Additionally, students whose teachers are rated ineffective are guaranteed placement with higher-rated teachers in their next school year, so that no student is unfortunate enough to have two ineffective teachers in consecutive years. In addition, families which qualify for federal free or reduced lunch (for example, a family of four with an annual income of less than $40,800) are awarded up to $4,500 per student toward either private schooling or home schooling. This act gives low-income families the means to withdraw their children from low-performing schools in search of better education. It also gives low-performing schools an increased incentive to improve. Students capable of graduating high school early can also earn scholarships up to $4,000 for college education, as the state applies the funds that would be spent on their unneeded last semester of high school toward higher education. Another initiative increases the ability of colleges and universities to open and operate charter schools. It also allows for a traditional school to be converted to a charter school if 51 percent of parents petition for it. In order for a charter school to operate, at least 90 percent of its teachers must possess an Indiana teaching license. Indiana has also joined several other states in implementing changes to the collective bargaining process, limiting it to matters of teacher pay (as opposed to including things like school schedules). This reform also establishes a process for fact-finding, and promotes right-to-work for teachers who do not wish to participate in a strike.Those who choose to continue teaching even at age 70 begin to collect a pension in addition to their teaching salary, with no penalty. Several organizations in Indiana (seen to the right) are devoted to teacher development, and to providing educational resources to Indiana teachers. These organizations often publish and discuss research on teaching programs and techniques, and often offer classroom activities or curriculum supplements to improve teachers’ classrooms. Unlike some states, teachers in Indiana do not have to join a teachers’ union as a condition of employment. Neither do they have to pay dues to a union that represents the majority of other teachers at their school.
- What’s the education climate in Indiana?
- How’s the job outlook for Indiana teachers?
- What benefits do Indiana teachers have?
- What are the credentialing requirements in Indiana?
- Find schools offering Masters in Education Programs in Indiana
What’s the education climate in Indiana?Indiana has implemented significant reforms in the past two years to improve educational conditions in the state. In 2012, Governor Daniels and State Superintendent Tony Bennett together advanced several different initiatives—some of which have already been enacted, others of which are still being debated.
Salary Facts for Indiana Teachers
- Average Starting Salary: $30,844
- Average Salary:$49,040
- Average for all Indiana jobs:$39,700
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 17:1