NewsEducation / April 22, 2019

Washington Township Teachers Push For More Funding, No Guns In Schools

Washington Township Teachers Push For More Funding, No Guns In Schools

Before the school day, teachers at Westlane Middle School rallied outside of the school to call on lawmakers to increase school funding.

Carter Barrett/WFYI

Teachers at Westlane Middle School in Washington Township rallied this morning in a last minute push to convince lawmakers to raise teacher salaries.

Outside the middle school union leader Amber Seibert chanted on a megaphone. 

"What are you willing to do for public education?" Seibert called. 

"Whatever it takes," the 40 teachers yelled back. 

President of the school’s teachers union Sabra Gage says the Red for Ed rally comes as a final push during the last week of the legislative session.

"This is absolutely the biggest push because now we’re down to the wire," Gage says. "They’re going to have to pass their budget, they’re going to have to decide what to cut since they said they’re down $100 million in revenue, and we don’t want it to be education because children are our future."

The Indiana State Teachers Association says lawmakers need to allocate $1.3 billion in funding towards public education. ISTA leaders recongnize this may take years but say the current plan proposed by lawmakers isn't enough.

Teachers at the rally also called on their own school board to ban the use of projectiles during school safety training and promise to not arm teachers. This comes after a school in northern Indiana shot teachers with metal pellets during a school safety training. 

Teachers across the district also plan to rally at the Washington Township school board meeting Wednesday. 

"If you don't have money for me, why do you have money for guns in my classroom?" Seibert says over the megaphone. 

A bill to provide state funding towards teacher firearm training is expected to head to conference committee Monday afternoon. 

This story has been updated to reflect that the Indiana State Teacher's Association is asking for $1.3 billion of funding towards public education not $1.3 million. 

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