TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — Teachers across the state went to school early Wednesday, but it wasn't to get a jump start on their daily lessons. It was to rally in support of funding education.
Teachers wore red as they took part in a statewide walk-in before school Wednesday morning.
Walk-ins began early in the morning, depending on what time school started.
Administrators were made aware of the plans, and many speakers were in attendance at different schools including Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski and West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis.
A teacher at Lafayette Jeff High School said it's important to bring light to the lack of teacher pay and the teacher shortage in Indiana.
She said it's all about having the state legislature listen to the teachers.
"They want to send a positive message to the state legislature and say 'hey we're gathering together we have all of these people that are in support of more funding for public education and now we need you step up and do the right thing.'" said Jennifer Smith-Margraf. "I will say there is also some frustration that is has to get to this point."
#TippecanoeWalkIn Great Turn WLHS - Community, Parents, Students, Faculty and Staff. Thanks Rep Chris Campbell, Supt Rocky Killion, ISTA Pres Teresa Meredith, parent Donna Barkett, WLEA Co-Presidents Marydell Forbes and Andi Hipsher spoke. #WLEA #RedForEd @wlea_rdp @istamembers pic.twitter.com/7GYhUuG0db
— WLEA-RDP (@WLEA_RDP) April 10, 2019
The walk-in was to encourage state legislators to increase the amount of money budgeted for public education.
Right now, the state budget proposal includes a two-percent increase.
Educator Kathy Parker said it would do very little to benefit public schools. That includes what she says is a much needed increase in teacher's salaries.
Parker hopes state lawmakers are paying attention.
"We do want to make our voices heard," she said. "We want to give the legislature notice that we are watching what they're doing and we want to be treated fairly."
Educators in the Lafayette, West Lafayette and Tippecanoe School corporations were among those participating.
The teachers were joined by city officials and members of the state legislature. That includes Democratic State Representative Chris Campbell.
She said Wednesday's demonstration sends a clear message to the state.
"I think our teachers are telling our state that this is important," said Campbell. "This is an investment in our future, and we are not going to let that be jeopardized."
The state legislature has until midnight on April 29 to decide on the budget.
— Wea Ridge Middle School (@WeaRidgeMS) April 10, 2019