AP NEWS

Walk-ins at city schools to back public education

April 9, 2019

Those wanting to show support for public education can do so Wednesday morning by arriving at a school wearing red.

The Fort Wayne Education Association will host walk-in demonstrations at four schools before classes begin. Supporters of public education, parents, educators and community members may participate, the union announced Monday.

Teachers statewide and nationwide are using walk-ins to highlight the need for increased public education funding.

Julie Hyndman, FWEA president, said teachers are concerned about the proposed state budget, which wouldn’t provide Fort Wayne Community Schools with sufficient increases to address student needs and increase teacher pay.

“We’re hosting the walk-in to bring attention to these issues and encourage parents and community members and leaders to contact their legislators to ask for more education funding,” Hyndman said in a statement.

According to the National Education Association’s website, Indiana teacher pay ranges from 90,000, with the average being $54,308.

Nationally, teacher pay is 5% lower than it was in 2009, adjusted for inflation, according to the U.S. Department of Education. In Indiana, teachers earn almost 16% less than they did two decades ago.

The Red for Ed demonstrations are being held before teachers’ contract hours so the school day isn’t disrupted, Hyndman said.

Sites include Lincoln Elementary School, 1001 E. Cook Road; Arlington Elementary School, 8118 St. Joe Center Road; and St. Joseph Central Elementary School, 6341 St. Joe Center Road, the union said. The walk-ins are planned for 6:55 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.

Participants should meet outside, the union said.

The school district said those wanting details about walk-ins at other buildings should contact the FWEA. Call 800-382-4037, ext. 3740.

asloboda@jg.net