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Coalition of parents, community members formed to help Muncie Community Schools

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — A group of parents and community members is doing what they can to help Muncie Community Schools.

A state arbitrator heard from the Muncie Teachers’ Association and the Muncie Schools superintendent and district administrators during a fact-finding meeting Thursday night.

Under a school district proposal, Muncie teachers are being asked to take massive cuts to both pay and benefits in an effort to resolve the district’s financial difficulties. The proposed salary cuts run between 10 to 20 percent of teacher wages and benefits depending on how much they earn.

Members of the newly formed Indiana Coalition for Public Education – Delaware County want to not only help with the financial issue the district is dealing with right now, but to look at solutions that can help Muncie Community Schools in the long run, according to one of the organizers, Ari Hurwitz.

They are starting a video campaign called “All in 4 MCS” and are asking parents and students to make videos about what the district and their teachers mean to them.

They also plan to lobby state lawmakers for changes to certain school funding formulas.

The coalition has also set up meeting with two school board members each week for a question and answer session, where people from the community can submit questions.

One of the main goals of the Indiana Coalition for Public Education – Delaware County is for the school board to build trust and transparency with the community.

“There are certain things that are out of our hands, the state’s working with the teacher negotiations, we can’t negotiate contracts for teachers, but we can do a lot of things — and if you are excited to help teachers, if you are anxious about the situation, if you’re angry at what’s happened — all of those emotions can be channeled into action and I think our focus is action,” Hurwitz said.

Parents have also been holding food and school supply drives for teachers.