INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — Thousands of teachers across Indiana flooded the statehouse lawn in Indianapolis on Tuesday for Red for Ed Action Day. At least 11 districts from Southern Indiana were closed as teachers participated in the rally.
“We are overloaded, we don’t have enough support,” said Sandy Flatt, a teacher at New Albany High School who attended the rally at the statehouse. “We have done more and more with less and less.”
She’s one of the thousands of teachers who say they’re at their tipping point.
“I have written my legislators. I have gone up and lobbied with them and spoken to them nicely. I have done all the things that I’m supposed to, and they keep not listening,” said Erin Braune, a teacher with West Clark Community Schools.
The rally is an effort to send a message to Indiana lawmakers and demand that they make public education a priority as many teachers say they’re paying out of pocket to do their jobs.
“We don’t have enough funding for the books for our students,” said Flatt.
“I teach English, so I buy a lot of books for my classroom,” said Braune. “I have a classroom library of over 1000 books largely that I’ve bought myself and I don’t even spend as much as elementary school teachers.”
There were three main demands made at Red for Ed Action day: Invest budget surplus in teacher compensation, repeal externship requirements, and hold educators harmless from ILearn, a new standardized test that dropped school test scores across Indiana last year.
Teachers say they’re feeling optimistic after the turnout at the rally.
“I’m really proud of it,” said Braune.
“We’re passionate about education and it’s time,” said Flatt. “We finally need to come together, voice our opinions, work together and get the support like this because it is phenomenal to finally realize how much people really do support us.”