JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - West Clark schools will not be open Tuesday, Nov. 19 so teachers can go ‘Red for Ed.’
The district is letting its teachers join thousands of others at the state capitol as educators demand higher pay and better treatment from lawmakers.
Across the Hoosier state, teachers are also demanding a “hold harmless” policy for teachers regarding this year’s poor ILEARN results. The policy would protect teachers from being negatively affected by the low scores.
Indiana educators also want lawmakers to repeal a mandate for externship requirements.
"We just don't feel like they're listening,” said Rachel Overberg, a Clarksville teacher. “So, we're taking it to the next step, coming together in numbers, showing this is a grave concern to us.”
Greater Clark Education Association Union President Mark Felix said the statehouse rally will allow teachers’ voices to be heard. He also confirmed more than 100 Greater Clark teachers are planning to attend the event.
Nationally, Indiana ranks low for teacher pay and the capability of attracting educators to the state. Felix says lawmakers know the negatives but haven’t done anything to improve them.
"We rank in the bottom 5 states as far as K through 12 funding goes in so many different publications,” Felix said. “They know it, they're aware of it. We just need to remind them that we need to be a priority, if not the biggest priority in the upcoming session.”
After a year of waiting for action, teachers like Overberg insist they need to show lawmakers that they're serious about change and that this rally will only be the starting point.
"We’re just continuing to show in numbers and solidarity that we’re all in this together,” Overberg said. “We’re all fighting for what’s best for our school systems and our students.”