A State Campaign Committee of Educators has endorsed Glenda Ritz. According to a press release the Indiana Political Action Committee for Education has endorsed Ritz’s re-election bid as Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction. In related news, a state task force is going to work on a plan of action for Indiana state lawmakers surrounding teacher shortages. Ritz co-chairs the task force, which is called the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators. The group met for the first time last week.
Indiana has had a decline of 18 percent in college enrollment in schools of education and in teachers achieving licenses over the last five years. Many attribute these drops to the lack of economic opportunity for teachers. This is especially prevalent in Indiana. An article in the Times of Northwest Indiana points out that the Indiana starting pay average for teachers is about $34,700, about $250 less than the national average. In Illinois, the starting pay average is $37,166. For experienced teachers, the pay gap is even more pronounced. An experienced teacher in Indiana can expect to make roughly $43,000 and with a master’s degree they can expect to make around $55,400. In Michigan, an experienced teacher can expect to make around $47,300. And with a master’s degree, 64,130 dollars. That’s almost $9,000 more than in Indiana. California fares even better, but they too still have a teacher shortage. Glenda Ritz says she hopes to change this problem for Indiana by starting with the task force.