Letter: Why BCSC teachers are joining Red for Ed

From: Amy London, Mandy Keele, Dakota Hudelson, Scott Rayburn, Officers of the Columbus Educators Association


On Tuesday, Nov. 19th, more than 100 educators and school staff from Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. will be attending ISTA’s Red for Ed Action Day. What started as an effort to engage lawmakers on the only day they must all be at the statehouse has turned into a movement. This movement swept up teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents, and all are pointed at one thing — building a better world for our students and communities.

For far too long, our public school system has been neglected or outright harmed by our state legislature. Funding has either barely kept up with inflation or has not at all. More and more of the existing dollars have been siphoned off by unaccountable charter schools and private school vouchers (BCSC lost nearly $1.7 million to vouchers in the 2017/2018 school year alone). The state has added additional mandates to public schools without any funding. The practical effects of these actions have fallen in the laps of teachers and school staff, leaving us to sweep up the crumbs given by the state to try to make a meal for our students and communities.

We are finally at the point where we have had enough. We will not stand idly by and hope things will get better. The teachers and staff of BCSC felt so passionately about taking action on behalf of our students and communities that more than 120 of us put in personal days for Nov. 19th. As a result, BCSC joined more than 100 other school districts in Indiana and closed in support of the Red for Ed Action Day. As of this writing, there are more than 11,000 teachers and supporters of public education registered to attend this important event, and that figure increases each day.

Stepping out of our classrooms and going to Indianapolis is not something that is in our nature. As educators, we want to be at school, helping every child in this community reach their full potential. We love our students, and we know how inconvenient it will be for so many in our community to not have school next Tuesday. Please know that we do this because we love our students and community schools, and we can no longer watch from the sidelines as the systematic neglect of our public schools continues.