To the editor:

On Nov. 19, 2019, supporters of public education will peacefully assemble in Indianapolis to express concerns to our elected officials about the continuous lack of funding for public schools. Ninety percent of all Hoosier students attend public schools (source: IDOE), yet funding for public school districts will only increase by approximately 2%. The reality is that 60 out of 289 public school districts will receive less money in 2020 and 2021 (source: Vic’s Statehouse notes #337). The legislature must fund ALL public schools at a level that allows for innovative educational programs that promote learning and increased knowledge, as well as social and emotional health for our Hoosier students. 

The state is spending over $100 million on standardized testing (ISTEP, ILEARN, IREAD), but ranks 47th in the country for per student funding (source: NEA report). Indiana also ranks 51st in the country (including D.C.) for teacher salary increases over the last 15 years (source: Forbes April 2019). We want LESS money spent on testing and MORE money spent on student learning and the people that promote learning. We want funding that allows public school districts to pay a living wage to bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, counselors, secretaries, librarians, instructional support personnel, teachers, and anyone else that impacts the learning environment in a positive way. We want teachers recognized and treated as professionals capable of deciding the best professional development activities that will benefit their students. 

We will take this message to our legislators on TUESDAY, NOV. 19TH. If you support public schools, have children in public schools, or friends/relatives that work in public schools then we ask you to stand with us. Please join us in spreading our message and in our fight to acquire appropriate funding for our public schools. COME TO INDY! If you cannot come, then wear red on Nov. 19th to support the RED for ED movement. The 90% of Hoosier students attending public schools deserve fully funded educational opportunities. The future of Indiana is in our classrooms and funding at an acceptable level will be funding Indiana’s future. 

Edna Curl

Special Education Teacher

Special Services Unit

Diana Wehner

Special Education Teacher

Madison Consolidated

Brandon Frye

Business teacher

Southwestern Schools