Classes across Bartholomew County will continue as scheduled on Nov. 19, despite administrators already being notified that many local teachers plan to attend a Red for Ed Rally Day in Indianapolis rather than being at school.
As 5,000 or more teachers from across the state attend a union-organized Statehouse rally to lobby for more school funding and higher teacher pay among other items, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Superintendent Jim Roberts and Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Corp. Superintendent Shawn Price said they do not plan to call off school that day.
“In cooperation with the Columbus Educators Association (CEA), BCSC is working to ensure that educators at all levels are able to participate in the Red for Ed Rally Day scheduled at the Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 19,” Roberts said in a joint statement with CEA Friday. “We also understand that our first priority to our community is to provide the most productive learning environment possible for our students.”
More than 35 of the state’s nearly 300 school districts had canceled classes by Thursday afternoon because they wouldn’t be able to find enough substitute teachers to cover classrooms.
Jennings County School Corp. canceled school on Nov. 19 and will make up the day on President’s Day on Feb. 17.
Roberts said although some corporations are choosing to close and make up the day at a later time or have an e-learning day, both CEA and BCSC are “committed to supporting the importance of the classroom experience.”
“As we balance priorities, we believe that having school on Tuesday, Nov. 19 is best for our community as doing so allows parents to keep a consistent schedule, ensures meals are provided to our students, and maintains a safe and secure learning environment,” Roberts said.
Price said he and Flat Rock-Hawcreek’s association president felt it was important for the district to have a presence at the Nov. 19 rally and created a delegation of seven teachers to send to the Statehouse.
At least 11 other teachers from Flat Rock-Hawcreek have also requested to use a personal day to attend the rally. Price said the corporation is doing its best to find substitute teachers and coverage for teachers who wish to attend the rally.
For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.