Thousands are expected to rally at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday as part of a "Red for Ed" Action Day for public education. Some Indianapolis Public Schools teachers plan to attend to demand lawmakers change the school funding formula.
While IPS district leaders announced more than $31 million in raises last week, challenges persist at the district.
IPS Spokesperson Carrie Cline Black said the district canceled classes to support teachers who want more support for critical resources like social-emotional learning and special education.
"We have students who have high trauma needs who maybe come from homes where different things are going on that carry into the school day," Black said.
IPS educators are also concerned about the state's complexity funding formula, which can secure additional funding to help schools support students living in poverty.
"They really want to petition legislators to provide equitable funding for districts like ours who have higher funding needs as opposed to equal funding across the board," Black said.
Several schools in the IPS innovation network, which consists of charter schools that exist in partnership with the public school district, announced they also plan to cancel class to support teachers who wish to participate.
Mariama Shaheed, principal of Global Preparatory Academy at Riverside 44 — an innovation school on the city's near north side that uses a dual-language curriculum — said her team asked its independent school board to cancel class to ensure non-traditional schools can be part of Tuesday's discussion.
"I think as a public charter school and an innovation school there's so much confusion around the school type that there's not a lot of conversation around where our interests are inextricably linked to one another," Shaheed said.
At least four other innovation schools have said they planned to cancel class Nov. 19. They include Thomas Gregg Neighborhood School, Ignite Achievement Academy at Elder Diggs, SUPER School 19 and Herron High School.