March 6, 2014


Earlier this session, Sen. Jim Banks authored on behalf of the Governor SB 264. The bill provided that some teachers could receive a $10,000 stipend to seek employment at a school with a grade of D or F.


ISTA opposed this bill for a variety of reasons. First of all, this is not a way to fund public schools or teachers. Secondly, the bill would favor teachers moving from traditional public schools to charters schools. Thirdly, bills that deal with funding should not be addressed in short sessions. And lastly, because charters choose to pay their teachers far less, this bill would be another taxpayer subsidy supporting charter schools over public schools.


Thankfully SB 264 died.


However, the bill’s language is likely to be resurrected as an amendment in a conference committee later today. The bill likely to be amended is HB 1319.


Members and supporters of public schools should contact their legislators to ensure that this language is not amended into any bill.


The out of state, for-profit companies who would mostly benefit from this taxpayer subsidy can well afford to pay their teachers more if they chose to. But even then, taxpayers couldn’t be assured that they would be getting their moneys’ worth.


K12, Inc. is a prime example of why taxpayers should be opposed to this new taxpayer subsidy.


According to a recent report K12, Inc. which operates several charter schools in Indiana, has made millions. Their report also shows that K12, Inc’s CEO was paid more than $19 million in just a few short years.


K12, Inc.’s profits have steadily increased despite the fact that only 28% of their schools met state standards in 2010-2011. The report estimates that K12 Inc. makes 86% of its revenue from the taxpayer dollars.


With record profits like that, while getting poor results in return, why would the Governor want Hoosier taxpayers footing a bailout to another out of state, for-profit school  operator like K12, Inc.?


If these for-profit companies wanted to pay teachers more, they surely can afford it already.


ISTA members and supporters of public school are asked to contact their legislators to ensure that this language is not amended into any bill.