Editorial summary: Indiana :: WRAL.com

Anderson Herald-Bulletin. November 19, 2021.

Editorial: Investing in teachers is investing in children

Indiana should do more to make salary increases for teachers a reality. An increase in teachers’ salaries would benefit students, parents and communities.

According to the National Education Association, Indiana ranks 38th for average starting salary, at $ 37,573, and 42nd for average salary, $ 51,745.

Indiana ranks below its neighboring states of Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio in terms of average salary and is second behind Illinois in terms of average starting salary. Sadly, it’s not for a second, with Illinois ranking 22nd in the country.

According to Business.org, the national average salary for teachers is $ 56,310.

This year, state lawmakers approved a budget that called on Indiana schools to increase junior teacher salaries to $ 40,000. Many school systems across the state have met or are making progress toward this goal.

On Monday, the Kokomo Tribune reported that all schools in Howard County except Taylor have done so with new contracts this year. Taylor officials plan to meet the new minimum wage next year.

Elsewhere in the state, teachers have been pushing for better pay in recent weeks.

Anderson community schools were forced to switch from in-person classes to online learning one day and cancel classes altogether another day after about 20% of ACS teachers took days off. leave (using accumulated paid time) in the midst of turmoil related to contract negotiations between the teachers’ union. and the school district.

Anderson’s teachers feared that a proposed salary increase was insufficient to offset the increase in insurance premiums, thereby causing a reduction in teachers’ take-home pay.

After recalls from teachers in Anderson, union leaders met with district officials and agreed on a contract proposal that would provide teachers with an increase in base salary as well as allowances over the next two years. The extra money would be more than enough to offset the rising insurance premiums.

Collective bargaining gives workers the power to demand fair and reasonable wages, and the state should continue to do its part to make Indiana competitive in terms of teacher pay.

In public school systems, widespread teacher absences affect not only students but also parents who have to make last-minute childcare arrangements or miss a day of work.

Public schools are such an important part of our communities that the state should be doing more to ensure that teachers are paid fairly and receive regular increments.

State lawmakers should ensure that Hoosier State is a place where teachers are appropriately compensated for the important work they do for our children.

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The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne). November 21, 2021.

Editorial: Leaders are right to take the cautious path on tax cuts

Who doesn’t like a tax cut? Those elected to take the credit could be the biggest fans, especially in an election year.

This is why the hesitations expressed by the leaders of the Indiana Senate deserve to be taken into account. Instead of rushing headlong into a tax cut proposal pushed by the House GOP caucus, Senate Majority Leader Mark Messmer said the discussion should wait until the 2023 budget session. The effects federal COVID relief and stimulus programs headed for Indiana have undoubtedly boosted state spending and tax revenues further.

“We can’t predict where the revenue will go,” Messmer said last week. “We will of course be looking at the revised forecast in December and looking at whatever the House sends us, but we have no plans to cut taxes at this time.”

Most lawmakers haven’t been in the Statehouse long enough to remember how fast the state’s fortunes can turn. Indiana had cash on hand when Governor Frank O’Bannon granted $ 1.2 billion in tax relief. The attacks of September 11, 2001 quickly followed. Indiana has lost 120,000 jobs and tax revenues have plummeted. The state was forced to make drastic cuts to services.

Despite the pandemic, there is no argument that the state is financially strong. The fiscal year close on June 30 revealed a surplus of nearly $ 4 billion, and tax revenue for the first four months of the current fiscal year is more than $ 500 million above the estimate.

But the budget surplus has already triggered the automatic reimbursement of taxpayers provided for by state law. About $ 550 million will go to Hoosiers to file income tax returns, while an additional $ 550 million will go to pension relief. On the taxpayer refund, single filers will likely see a tax credit of around $ 170, while those who file a joint return will receive around $ 340.

But that’s not enough for Speaker of the House Todd Huston, who said at a legislative preview luncheon on Monday that his caucus was considering a cut in the income tax rate or tax credits. additional.

The state’s current rate is 3.23% – lower than any of its neighboring states. The sales tax rate, considered a regressive tax, is 7% in Indiana – higher than any of the neighboring states.

“We will have a bill that ultimately ensures that we return Hoosier taxpayer money,” Huston said.

Gov. Eric Holcomb’s comments suggest he is in favor of a more in-depth discussion of tax cuts. The 2023 budget session is better suited to this discussion. This leaves more time for the uncertain economic effects of the recession to materialize. It also gives the Hoosiers more time to influence tax policy.

Billions of dollars in federal taxes have been pumped into Indiana’s economy over the past two years. Allowing some time to the effects of spending those dollars is in keeping with the cautious approach Indiana residents are known for.

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Republic of Columbus. November 19, 2021.

Editorial: City and County Rules Regarding Animal Abuse Must Be Consistent

The strengthened enforcement of animal cruelty claims in Bartholomew County has recently brought renewed attention to a disturbing issue, while also showing a need for consistency in the way pets and their owners are treated, which ‘they live in town or in the county.

With the cold coming, now is the perfect time to revisit the way we treat our pets individually and as a community.

Here’s a fitting example: the sight of dogs left chained outside in freezing weather, sometimes even homeless. It is a situation that is beyond the glaciation – it is cruel and it is dangerous – but it is a shattering spectacle that we still see from time to time.

A few years ago, Columbus passed an ordinance requiring dogs to be put to shelter when the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. These are good common sense regulations that pet owners should follow, and it’s not too much to ask of county residents who own dogs.

Bartholomew County is expected to pass this Columbus ordinance so that pet owners and animal control officers have clear and consistent expectations, at least when it comes to this potentially life-threatening circumstance.

Additionally, the city and county would do well to work together to develop comprehensive minimum standards that explicitly clarify what constitutes cruelty and neglect of animals.

We see from 911 activity that animal control units are dispatched several times a day (too often for allegations of animal abuse), but they may lack clear guidance on when enforcement action is. justified, or even when a pet owner has crossed a line. These officers naturally have broad discretion, but when a condition is clearly dangerous – such as leaving an animal chained outside in freezing cold – animal control officers must have the power to act in the best interests of the person. the animal.

Recently, County Commissioners were urged by a group called “Change 4 Bartholomew County – Animal Advocacy”, which has over 700 members, to restrict the length of time dogs can be continuously tied or chained outside. They suggested adopting a Florida county rules that prohibit dogs from being chained for more than eight hours in a 24-hour period, among other things.

Other members of the group urged the county to spell out in clear language in its ordinances what constitutes animal abuse.

We agree that changes are needed. Consistency too.

The city and county have an opportunity here to act boldly to establish basic minimum standards to prevent pet abuse and mistreatment, and it is clear that many people of good will are eager to ‘to help. Our leaders should appoint a group of community actors to not only rewrite vague regulations, but also to raise the expectations we set for pet owners. Let it be a democratic process from scratch that takes into account many voices and points of view for the simple purpose of making this city and county a great place to be a dog or a cat.

Maybe it’s just wacky thinking.

But let’s agree right away on a first basic minimum standard, for the good of dogs: don’t leave your dogs chained in the freezing cold. This should be a rule that doesn’t stop at the city limits of Columbus.

TO FINISH


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