INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The message from teachers to Indiana lawmakers was clear.
State Sen. Eddie Melton, a Democrat from Gary, said, “I’m hearing specifically from teachers that they feel like their voices aren’t being heard in the Statehouse. That we’re constantly passing laws that don’t reflect what matters to them the most.”
Thousands of teachers rallied Tuesday at the Statehouse for the Red For Ed Day of Action Rally. The teachers’ rallying cry included their pay and not being responsible for this year’s ILEARN standardized test scores.
“It’s a good thing. This is actually Democracy in action,” said state Sen. John Ruckelshaus, a Republican from Indianapolis. “We’re glad to have them.”
State Rep. Cherrish Pryor, a Democrat from Indianapolis, said, “They’re sending a great signal, I think, to the legislators and government that we need to be respectful of teachers and pay them what they should be paid.”
State Rep. Ryan Hatfield, a Democrat from Evansville, said, “You can feel the energy in the room. It’s going to take a persistent effort, that this rally not just happen today, but continue into tomorrow and days ahead so we can actually have meaningful change for teachers in the state of Indiana.”
State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Seymour Republican, spent the day talking to teachers, too. “Public education is a government-run system. With that, we have automatic built-in inefficiencies, bureaucracy, bloats. We’re trying to fix that in the manner this process allows. I’m excited.”
Speaker Brian Bosma said the first order of business in the House will be to make sure teachers and schools are held harmless, or not responsible, for this summer’s less-than-stellar new ILEARN scores.