Educators continue to push Indiana lawmakers to do more for public education

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Efforts to support Indiana’s public schools continue today as educators from across the state plan to rally at the Statehouse at 2 p.m. They want elected officials to do more to make public education a priority.

The Indiana Coalition for Public Education wants lawmakers to know more work needs to be done. Big strides have been made at the Statehouse during this small session, but they point out it shouldn’t take a rally for lawmakers to act when it comes to education.

During Red for Ed Day at the statehouse last November, thousands of educators rallied asking that schools and teachers be held harmless for low iLearn scores. Just last week, the governor signed a law to delay the penalty for schools based on low student scores. Organizers say they celebrate the Hold Harmless bill, but they would like less emphasis on standardized test scores overall.

Another big topic for the rally is teacher pay. The state decided not to use surplus budget money to boost teacher pay this year. The $135 million in interest payments will instead go to fund higher education projects throughout Indiana. Democrats fought to use some of that money on teacher raises. Republicans say giving teachers a pay raise is still on the table but during next year’s budget after the Compensation Committee gives its report.

Organizers also want lawmakers to rethink the three-school system Indiana currently has. They believe having public, charter, and voucher schools isn’t a good use of taxpayer money. They’re asking lawmakers to pause approval of new charter schools, and they’re calling on more transparency from current charter and voucher schools.

The rally is set for 2 p.m. Monday, February 17. For more information, click here.

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