TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — 61 Indiana school districts are closing or having an e-learning day on Nov. 19 and that number is rising.
More than 7,500 people are expected to rally at the Statehouse for "Red for Ed Action Day." Hundreds of teachers from public schools in Tippecanoe County will be there.
Indiana is last in the nation in providing pay increases for teachers. That's according to Sarah Williams, vice president of the Tippecanoe Education Association.
“We're not keeping up, we're not keeping up in raises, we're not keeping up with the cost of living and teachers are having second and third jobs after working a full day with students.
Williams is also a second and third-grade teacher in the Tippecanoe School Corporation. She'll rally at the Statehouse with thousands of other public school teachers. But what does this mean for the students?
“Dr. [Scott] Hanback I think feels strongly that the TSC should remain open and we do have walk-ins scheduled at each building on the 19th so that those teachers that are staying behind to teach students that day are still showing support,” said Willaims.
West Lafayette will do the same with an onsite rally for their teachers.
“Teachers and our administrators have said we want to make sure that we service our students educationally and our students are our number one priority so we will remain open,” said West Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Rocky Killion.
Dr. Killion said although most of his teachers are staying in-town he believes fighting for education, wherever it may be, is important.
“We're getting about $600 less per student now than we were 10-years ago,” said Killion. “My costs have gone up, insurance cost, utility cost, salary cost. How's a school district supposed to continue to survive?”
The Lafayette School Corporation is considering closing with around 100 teachers registered to rally at the Statehouse, so far. Although staying open would be ideal, supporting their teachers is also at the forefront.
“We support public education, we meaning the Lafayette School Corporation and they're doing what they believe is the best interest and we wish everybody luck we hope positive things come out of it,” said Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Les Huddle.
TSC and West Lafayette Schools will not close. Lafayette School Corporation is still undetermined on a closure. Lafayette School corporation plans to update parents if the school will close early next week.