(INDIANAPOLIS) — In testimony today, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce voiced its support for teachers and giving them a choice regarding their pension plans, as well as praised other efforts to attract and keep talented educators. 

Caryl Auslander, the Indiana Chamber’s vice president of education and workforce development policy, expands on some of her remarks on House Bill 1004.

“The Indiana Chamber supports giving teachers a choice when it comes to their benefit plans. More specifically, we are in favor of having the option of a defined contribution plan for teachers. We believe that providing teachers with more options and choices in retirement benefits will be a strong incentive and a perk of entering the profession. It will also leave them with more options if, down the road, they choose to move to a different school district or leave the profession.

“We also believe that allowing reciprocity of teaching licenses from out of state will provide an opportunity to address any potential teacher shortage issues in Indiana. It’s another motivation for teachers to relocate here. In fact, I wish we had this option eight years ago when my teacher husband and I moved from Washington, D.C. to Indiana.

“(Finally) The Indiana Chamber strongly supports the language in the bill that would allow for school corporations to provide additional salary flexibility for high-need positions. The Indiana Chamber has always supported rewarding good teachers for the important job they do. Giving administrators the ability to offer additional payment beyond the standard salary is an important step toward recruiting the teachers we need.”

The Indiana Chamber partners with 24,000 members and investors – representing over four million Hoosiers – to achieve the mission of “cultivating a world-class environment which provides economic opportunity and prosperity.”

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