WHEATFIELD — Parents learned on Nov. 7, students will not be attending the KV schools on Nov. 19 due to a rally many of the teachers will be attending in Indianapolis. A letter sent to parents from Superintendent Don Street states the notification was made to give parents time to arrange for childcare for the unscheduled closure.

Red for Ed

File Photo

File Photo

Teachers and community members march in their “Red for Ed” shirts in the Hebron Independence Day parade this past summer. The movement is drawing attention to the lack of funding for Indiana schools and low wages for teachers.

A built in make up day in February will be used to allow for the schools to close without having to make up a day at the end of the school year. The make up day is generally used for school closures due to inclement weather.

School districts across the state are closing for the day due to teacher participation in the rally, which is meant to let legislators know how serious educators are about improving public education in Indiana. The day was planned for the day legislators come to the Statehouse to plan their agendas for the 2020 session beginning in January.

KV Superintendent Don Street shared a letter he sent to the staff. In it he wrote the inadequate funding, excessive high-stakes standardized testing and teacher shortages are all results of legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly.

“We have worked tirelessly for many years to combat these issues but have not been heard. I am glad that we will be able to show a ‘Kougar’ presence.”

He said he is thankful for the large number of staff who will be attending and he will also be there for a portion of the day as well.

A letter from Twin Lakes teachers was sent to our sister paper in Monticello stated, “The ‘Red For Ed’ movement, which involves anyone supporting public education, is taking this day for an opportunity to gather at the Statehouse as a peaceful demonstration and expression to our legislators that the direction Indiana public education has taken for the last decade needs to change.

“There are local teachers and public education supporters who have decided to travel to the Statehouse on Nov. 19 and join the Red For Ed gathering. We want our legislators to hear our voice for the good of Indiana public schools.”

Street wrote in his letter to parents, “November 19 is an exciting day for educators across the State of Indiana. Many educators, administrators, community members, parents and supporters of public education will be attending a rally at the Statehouse to advocate for our schools and the future of education. It is important to understand that the decision to make our presence known at the Statehouse rather than being present with our students is not an easy one. We would much rather be at school teaching our students.”

He said across the nation, education has “taken a beating” and educators shape the lives of all our children. The rally day will be the day to make their voices be heard. “We support them(educators) in all they do.”

He said getting educators the opportunity to show up and support the movement from across the state should show legislators how important education is to the teachers, administrators and the communities.

He and school administrators have been watching the numbers as more and more teachers put in for a personal day to go to the “Red for Ed” day. He said he met with the principals on Tuesday to talk about their options after 50 people had asked for that day off.

“We support our teachers,” he said, so they had to look at closing school. Having an e-learning day wasn’t feasible because teachers have to be available to answer questions and interact with their students online, so they chose to close for the day to give the teachers the opportunity to attend the Indianapolis event.

Street’s letter refers to the Indiana State Teachers Association website for information. The website invites the community to join them, stating, “Join ISTA for the Red For Ed Action Day, Nov. 19. Educators, parents and community members are invited to attend. Let’s show legislators that we are still here, activated and ready to advocate for our kids, our schools and our future.“

An agenda for the day is also available on the website, https://www.ista-in.org/invest-in-education as well as information on the rally and the Red for Ed movement.