As someone who attended a public school growing up and worked as a substitute teacher at a public school for a year, I certainly recognize the value of public education. Education spending will always be a priority in our state.
However, I believe that it’s important to spend money efficiently and make sure that more of the money actually gets into the classroom. Data that comes from the National Center for Education Statistics, which comes from local school districts, shows a 52% increase in inflation-adjusted per-student spending between 1992 and 2019, while inflation-adjusted teacher pay declined by 9%. Clearly, not enough education dollars are actually getting into the classroom and going to teachers.
I believe this needs to change, which is why I introduced HB 2457. This bill would’ve required school boards to increase the compensation of classroom teachers by at least the same percentage as the overall increase in funding they receive per year. This policy would solve the problem of our tax dollars not getting into the classroom and not going to teachers. It would promote fiscal responsibility but would also be a policy that would benefit teachers as well. In the future, I will continue to advocate education policies which benefit teachers and which focuses on getting more of our education dollars directly into the classroom.