INDIANAPOLIS (WFFT) - More than 16,000 teachers used their teacher voice at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday, demanding lawmakers listen.
"This is a movement about trying to better our entire public school system. It's about our kids and having a better future for them," said Northern Wells teacher Amy Burns.
Burns took the day off to be at the rally because Northern Wells is one of many schools in northeast Indiana that didn't close.
"This experience, I can bring back to the classroom and tell the kids when I teach writing, government, social studies, that the power is in your voice," said Burns.
The passion can be found in every teacher at the "Red for Ed Action Day."
"I'm here because my daughter wants to be a teacher when she grows up and I want her to have a career," said M.S.D. Steuben County teacher Erin Fulton. "Their future depends on it. My future in my career depends on it but their entire life depends on what they are doing for the next 11 years."
The message teachers tried to send lawmakers is much more than teacher pay.
"I find myself thinking 'how can I help them when they take a test in the future?' But then I find myself catching myself because I don't want them to learn that way," said Fulton.
State Senator Liz Brown said she's spent time talking to teachers about the issues, but said it is a balancing act.
"I just think we need to be able to implement their concerns about accountability and testing while and matching that out with our parents who want to make sure their children are getting a good education," said Brown.
It is unlikely lawmakers will bring up the budget concerns teachers brought up Tuesday because 2020 isn't a budget year.