90% of students in Indiana attend a public school. That means the majority of Indiana’s children are affected by the decisions our state legislators make regarding education.
Currently, Indiana has some of the lowest paid teachers in the country, and we are also experiencing a shortage of public school teachers. Many of our schools do not have a school nurse, librarians, school psychologists, or school resource officers. The reason for this is not because these positions aren’t needed, but because the funding isn’t there to provide them.
On November 19th, 9 am – 2 pm, teachers from all over the state will head to the Indiana Statehouse for a huge #RedforEd Action Day in support of public education. Teachers are asking lawmakers to properly fund our schools, so that they can focus on their most important job: educating the next generation of leaders.
Our teachers are fighting hard for our schools and our kids, but they can’t do it alone. Here are four things parents can do to support our teachers and public education in Indiana.
Ask your school board or superintendent to close school on 11/19
If your school hasn’t canceled classes on November 19, consider emailing your school board or superintendent to ask for school to be closed. Yes, a day off from school is an inconvenience for a lot of us, myself included. But if there’s anything worth some inconvenience, it’s our kids’ education. Let your school corporation know that they have your support if they decide to close. Parental pressure can go a long way!
Attend the 11/19 rally
The #RedForEd rally at the Statehouse is being led by educators, but it’s open to anyone who cares about public education in Indiana. If you’re able, take time to attend this rally and really learn about what teachers need from our lawmakers. I also highly recommend bringing your kids along, so they can see democracy in action! You can sign up to attend the rally here. If you’re driving your own vehicle, parking information for the RedForEd rally is here. If you want to take the IndyGo Red Line, you’ll hop off at the Capitol and Washington stop.
Write your state legislators
Public school funding in Indiana is decided by our state senators and representatives. They need to know that we are watching how they vote and holding them accountable for the decisions they make in regards to our schools and our kids. You can find out who your state senator and representative are here.
Wear red on 11/19
Even if you can’t attend the rally, you can still show your support for public schools and teachers. Wear red on November 19th, and snap a selfie to share on social media. Let your friends and family know why you support Indiana’s teachers and schools, and tag your post #RedForEd. This simple show of support will mean so much to the educators that give their time and talents to our kids.
Support a Donors Choose project at your school
We will have to wait until 2020 to see if any changes to school funding are made, but in the meantime, there are ways we can support teachers financially. Donor’s Choose is an awesome platform that allows individuals to donate directly to teachers and help them purchase what they need for their classroom. Head over to their website and search for a project at your school to support. If you’re a first-time donor, use the code ADVOCATES and your donation will be matched! Indy with Kids is the host of a group called $5 Fridays for Central Indiana Schools, we invite you to join us and support a local school need each Friday.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can support public education in Indiana, I highly recommend following the Indiana Coalition for Public Education on Facebook. They’ve got lots of helpful information on how we can stand with teachers and help ensure our kids get a great education.
Schools Closed for Red for Ed Action Day
These schools have canceled school for students on November 19th:
For updates, follow Randall Studt’s Facebook list, he’s keeping everyone informed.
Blue River Valley
Boone Township- Hebron
MSD Franklin Township
Greater Clark County
IPS (PD Day)
MSD Lawrence Township
Mount Vernon -Fortville
New Albany-Floyd County
MSD of New Durham Township -Westville
North Central Parke
North Judson-San Pierre
Peru (PD Day)
MSD Pike Township
SENSE Charter School
Tri Township Wanateh
MSD Warren Township
MSD Washington Township
MSD Wayne Township
Western (Howard Co)