EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Teachers Association leaders from around the Tri-State organized a “Red for Ed Week of Action” for public school employees and supporters in the community.
On Saturday morning, some of those educators gathered at Four Freedoms Monument in Evansville.
So much passion was displayed from these educators on Saturday and their main goal is to advocate for fair funding in public schools.
14 News got the chance to talk to some of the educators who attended Saturday’s rally. These teachers say they want to send a clear message to the area legislators, stating they and many other educators oppose the expansion of Indiana’s voucher program and the newly created Education Scholarship Account.
These educators told 14 News the rally and future events are meant to raise awareness in the community of the failure of the state legislature to fund public schools in the proposed state budget.
”Talk to their state legislators to make school funding a priority, not a sidelight,” Lisa Koester, a school psychologist with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation said. “And understand that public education, strong public education supports everyone. Pulling money out of public education for vouchers is not the way to go. If someone wants the private school factor, almost every private school will find a way to get them in there. So don’t tell me - I know the route and I know the support is there, but help other students.”
“We’re just trying to make the public aware about the - to make our legislators prioritize public education in our state house budget,” John Hurley, a career and technical educator at South Spencer High School said. “That’s something that’s been going on the past 10 years, public education has really taken a hit in funding and support at the state level.”
“We need to be heard,” Kathy Parks, an educator of 43 years said. “And we need to have candidates and elected officials who believe in public service, and who believe in sharing and caring for our youngsters.”
Parks says that plenty more needs to be done until their voices are heard.
“So our next move is probably going to be trying to replace some of those people who don’t share that view and we have a right to do that,” Parks said.
The teachers that 14 News spoke with Saturday say the best way to help is for people to contact their area’s legislator and tell them to prioritize public education.