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House committee advances contentious teacher pay bill

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A House Education committee advanced a contentious proposal to give Indiana school districts authority to negotiate higher pay with individual teachers.

The measure passed Monday on a 7-4 vote, despite opposition from teachers unions and numerous school administrators, who say such benefits should be negotiated through collective bargaining.

A similar measure was killed in the Senate with GOP leader Sen. David Long of Fort Wayne calling for the Legislature to postpone advancing the idea.

Education Committee Chairman Bob Behning, an Indianapolis Republican, took the measure up anyway.

The bill advanced by his committee Monday was already approved by the Senate and could be sent to Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s desk for approval.

To do so, the full House would have to approve the measure without making any changes to it.