INDIANAPOLIS (WFFT) - Indiana teachers are promising they will take more action until lawmakers address issues facing public schools in the state.
Educators are encouraging Hoosiers to pay attention before voting in the 2020 election.
"Our students deserve every bit of advocacy you see. But it is a shame it takes this kind of advocacy to get what our students deserve," Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said Tuesday.
More than 16,000 teachers and their supporters rallied at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday expressing their frustrations of unfunded mandates and lack of funding.
Executive director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics Andy Downs said just one rally won't force much change.
"Yesterday, for a lot of people was a really good kickoff for something like this, but they've got to be able to sustain this energy through this session and into the next session because they aren't making a budget this session," said Downs.
Teachers and administrators realize this with people chating "we will vote" outside the statehouse Tuesday.
In her letter to parents last week, Fort Wayne Community Schools superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson urged parents to look at how lawmakers voted on education funding before they decide in November 2020.
McCormick shared that message during a news conference Tuesday.
"When this office becomes an appointed office, it becomes extremely important to pay attention to those who are running for governor and their message around public education. We need to ask. We need to be told," she said.
After McCormick announced last year she won't be seeking re-election, legislators approved a new law making the position one that's appointed by the governor starting in January 2021.
"Obviously there is going to be perfect alignment between those two positions or at least very close alignment between those two positions," said Downs.
"I will tell you this, 2020 matters. 2020 matters," said McCormick.
Besides governor, half of Indiana's senators and every member of the Indiana House of Representatives will be up for election.