Indiana State Teachers Association members protest tuition bills and demand higher wages

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Members of the Indiana State Teachers Association gathered at the State House on Thursday to demand higher wages and express their displeasure with legislation introduced in the 2023 session.

dissatisfaction with the legislation

Several education bills this session received opposition from educators.

This bill included a lot compared to Florida’s “Don’t Say Like Me” legislation. HP 1608 It would limit the teaching of humankind in the classroom It requires teachers to notify parents if students request a name or pronoun change.

Jenny Noble Kuchera is a teacher from Bloomington. Recent actions, such as this law, and lawmakers’ discussions will make navigating the profession more difficult, she said — especially for those just entering the field.

“How can we tell our 21- or 22-year-old teachers or neo-traditionalists when the law tells them they can’t be nice to students?” She said.

Noble Kuchera said those who do not support this legislation need to advocate for change and push this to lawmakers.

ISTA President Keith Gambill echoed these concerns and said This type of legislation You are likely to graduate teachers from this profession.

The problem is that the legislature continues to demoralize and professionalize our profession. Fewer candidates are willing to enter the profession.

John Purdue is a history teacher from Huntington. He said Indiana is “failing to attract the next generation of educators” with these types of bills.

“We actually have a legitimate problem with public education in Indiana right now, and it has absolutely nothing to do with little boxes or library books,” He said.

Alison Haley is a student English teacher from Noblesville High School. She said these types of procedures leave a gray area for teachers when deciding what to put in the curriculum.

“We get upset when we have to change our lesson plans to please anti-education groups,” she said.

collective bargaining

Another bill that educators spoke out against was SB 486which would limit teachers’ ability to participate in collective bargaining.

Haley said several administrative groups that oversee teachers have supported the law in committee hearings.

“The Superintendents Association and the School Board Association supported taking away your rights to debate,” she said.

She also said that only a small group of supervisors who support the bill are trying to make decisions for the larger group.

Withdrawing collective bargaining, Purdue said, takes away a basic right from teachers.

“In rural Huntington, I’ve seen a lot of administrators come and go,” he said. “However, the right for educators to bring our concerns about curriculum and policies to the administration in order to improve conditions for teaching and learning has been consistent and impressive. Senate Bill 486 is prepared to take that on immediately, perhaps even today.”

SB 486 For the third reading in the House of Representatives. If passed, it would return to the Senate to vote on changes made in the second half of the legislative session.

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teacher wages

The ISTA has consistently pushed for increased funding and it has been their first priority for this legislative cycle as well.

Purdue said it is the lack of wages that most influences this shortage of teachers.

I could do a lot more for my students if I had the right funding and the right resources,” he said.

Hayley echoed these sentiments in her speech.

“We get annoyed when we have to work three jobs to make ends meet,” she said.

Senate version of HB 1002, Government Budget , Released today. Senate Republicans have said they are increasing funding for K-12 schools — which could be used to boost teachers’ salaries. However, many school districts say that, given inflation, costs are rising too much to provide for significant wage increases.

according to Indiana Department of Education Job Board, There are more than 1,700 teaching positions open – that’s an increase From November 2022 With about 1,500 open positions.

The legislative session will end in the last week of April.

Violet is our daily news reporter. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @tweet.