TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Teachers are focusing on four topics for the Red for Ed rally at the Statehouse.
Teachers say they're fighting for more funding, and for change in education requirements but ultimately they say this is a fight for students and their future.
“It's not just, you know teachers with their hands out saying we need more money,” said Tippecanoe School Corporation teacher Sarah Williams. “My working conditions are my students' learning conditions.”
Williams is a second and third-grade teacher at Hershey Elementary. For her and many other teachers across the nation, the job doesn't end when the bell rings.
“Having to study and go back to school for licensure and professional development and learning for the next year what we're going to do plus planning and those types of things so it's a full-time job, it's all year round and it's a lot,” said Williams.
Williams will be rallying with hundreds of other teachers from the area. She said their focus is on four topics. Mainly more funding but also ILearn Hold Harmless, repealing new externship requirements, and halt the post, which uses graduation status as a way to grade schools.
“The ILearn test did not exactly roll out the way, I think everyone expected it to and the scores were extremely low across the state,” said Williams.
This is the first-year students were given the ILearn test and their performance affects teacher pay. Teachers are requesting a Hold Harmless as they sort out the scores and prepare differently for next year's test. They also don't want to be required to fulfill a 15-hour externship.
“We are hoping to repeal that,” said Williams. “Seems a little extensive to us and just not something that we need to be doing, our focus is our students and that's just a little much.”
With more than 13,000 people planning to attend, Williams believes this rally has the power to rattle state legislators.
“Indiana is typically a little bit slower to react to things but we're there now, we've reached the tipping point and this is going to be a big statement,” said Williams.