History in the Making
Tuesday November 19th will be a historic day for Indiana’s teachers. There are currently 14,000 teachers registered to attend a rally at the State Capitol. I’m proud to be able to stand with them as they demand better funding for public school students, teachers and classrooms. This rally has been a long time coming. The dismantling of public education in Indiana began over a decade ago under Governor Mitch Daniels. Since that time, public education has seen a significant decrease in funding and a significant decrease in respect. Politicians have piled more demands on teachers, have compensated them less and respected them less.
Time for Change
For years teachers have quietly tried to work through the proper channels to facilitate change. They’ve written letters, called legislators and met with them. Up to this point teachers have been ignored. They now find themselves in a position where they must unite and show the strength of their numbers. Indiana’s teachers are patient people, but they are also courageous people and they’ve had enough. Change is coming.
Where We’re Headed
It’s no secret where this movement is headed. We’ve seen it in other states. If teachers continue to be ignored by politicians they’ll strike. Make no mistake about that. A strike is not ideal for anyone. Politicians have a chance to listen, to improve funding for public education and to begin to solve a problem they’ve created. Let’s hope they’ll take the opportunity to listen. This problem won’t be solved over night, but the first steps can be taken on Tuesday.
What You Can Do
I want to encourage you to support teachers. Attend the rally on Tuesday, attend local rallies, and contact your legislator. Tell your legislator that you don’t want to see a teacher’s strike and they have the power to prevent one. Encourage them to fund public education and let them know that their decisions now will impact your decision on Election Day.
Thanks to everyone planning to attend this historic day for Indiana’s teachers. I know rallies like this are not comfortable for many of you. You’d rather teach, encourage and support than rally and protest. I’m honored to be able to stand with you on Tuesday to rally for better funding and a brighter future for public education in Indiana.