INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI/WISH) - Teachers from across Indiana met at the statehouse Tuesday afternoon to take part in a rally to oppose Governor Mitch Daniels' education proposals as well as several bills currently under debate by the state legislature.
Ideas being considered include funding a voucher system, changes to collective bargaining, and performance-based pay.
About 2,000 people from across Indiana are present at the rally, including 50 to 70 from the Greater Lafayette area.
Tuesday's rally was one of at least three rallies planned around the state with the encouragement of two teacher unions. The leader of one of them said the debate is not about education reform.
"It's much more about diminishing our rights as educators to do what we know is right in the classroom and to share our expertise with our administrators, said Nate Schnellenberger from the Indiana State Teachers Association.
"We keep asking where the plan is to reform education," said Tony Bennett, Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Our plan's out there and all we've heard so far is, ‘No.'"
While the rally took place, the Indiana House debated a bill that would expand charter schools. It would mean that most mayors and private universities could become sponsors. It's an idea Democrats oppose but Republicans support.
Daniels issued the following statement in response to the rally: "As always, the union's demand is more money, no change. Their priority is their organization, not the young people of Indiana. Their special interest domination of education policy from the local level to the State House has hurt Indiana children for too long and this year, change must finally come."
A shooting on Lafayette's south side is under investigation.
It's been nearly a month since a tornado damaged Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School, giving faculty the task of helping students transition to their new surroundings.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.