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Teachers in Southern Indiana prep for protest at statehouse

Nearly a dozen school districts in Southern Indiana will be closed Tuesday as hundreds of teachers head to Indianapolis for the Red for Ed rally.

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — Teachers across Indiana are prepping for a protest in Indianapolis Tuesday. Red for Ed Action Day will take place outside of the statehouse from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

"This is about public education," said Mark Felix, the president of the Greater Clark Education Association. "This is everyone from your custodians to your administrators. We're all in the same boat right now. We're all suffering from a lack of funding."

The event is put on by the Indiana State Teachers Association and coincides with organization day for Indiana State legislators. 

"We want to be up there to remind them that we want them to remember us when this session starts in January," said Felix. 

WATCH: Why are Indiana teachers going "Red for Ed"?

Felix will join nearly 200 teachers from the Greater Clark County Schools in Indianapolis Tuesday to push to make public schools a priority. 

"We're losing teachers to surrounding states just simply because we can't compete on salaries," he said. 

There multiple reasons behind the effort. A big one is teacher pay. Protestors are calling for an increase in base salaries throughout the state. 

They'll also bring up new testing called ILearn. That was first used last year and ended up dropping test scores for multiple schools across the state of Indiana.

"Almost every school district in the state failed it," said Felix. "So we're going to ask that they hold us harmless on that until they figure out what the situation is."

Nearly a dozen districts in our area will be closed Tuesday as local teachers participate. Those include the following: 

  • CLARK COUNTY: Clarksville Community Schools, Greater Clark County Schools, West Clark Community Schools
  • CRAWFORD COUNTY: Crawford County Community Schools
  • FLOYD COUNTY: New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools
  • HARRISON COUNTY: South Harrison Community School Corporation
  • JACKSON COUNTY: Crothersville Community Schools
  • JEFFERSON COUNTY: Madison Consolidated Schools, SW Jefferson County Consolidated Schools
  • JENNINGS COUNTY: Jennings County School Corporation
  • WASHINGTON COUNTY: Salem Community Schools

"I know statewide we're close to 12,000 teachers are supposed to show up," said Felix. "It's pretty amazing, pretty incredible. It's just a collective voice. The more of us show up, the louder we'll be and hopefully we'll get more attention from our legislature."

RELATED | Teachers from Indiana school districts to participate in 'Red for Ed' rally

Contact reporter Abby Lutz at alutz@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@abbyjlutz) and Facebook.

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