Indiana teachers preparing for historic Red for Ed rally at Statehouse

More than 16,000 teachers are expected to be in Indianapolis for "Red for Ed action day" to call attention to issues facing schools in Indiana.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019 5:25 PM
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 11:11 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Half of Indiana's public schools will be closed Tuesday because of staffing shortages, including Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools.

More than 16,000 teachers are expected to be in Indianapolis for "Red for Ed action day" to call attention to issues facing schools in Indiana.

"It's electrifying, there's so much interest," said Sandra Vohs, Fort Wayne Educators Association president. "It will be loud."

The Red for Ed is happening when lawmakers will be organizing their priorities for the upcoming legislative session.

The Indiana State Teachers Association president Keith Gambill said Tuesday isn't the first call for action.

"The issues still remain. We believe in order to effect really change, we have to continue to work," said Gambill.

The issues have been mounting over the last decade dating back to when Tony Bennett was still Indiana's Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Everything from more tests and mandates, but Vohs said there's one issue that stands out.

"Appropriately fund all public schools in the state," she said.

Gambill said he's not asking lawmakers to throw out the budget that was approved in the spring.

However, he said the state brought in more than $400 million more than what was expected.

"We believe a portion of that money should moved into funds for teacher compensation," said Gambill.

Union leaders and school administrators are reminding people one day isn't going to make the change, and more action will be needed.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma said Monday no additional spending will likely be taken up next year.

He said the two-year budget boosted base school spending by 2.5 percent each year.

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