Lafayette Schools To Close Nov. 19 As 130 Educators Join 'Red For Ed' Rally
Of Tippecanoe County’s three school corporations, so far only Lafayette School Corporation officials plan to close for next week’s “Red For Ed” rally at the Indiana Statehouse.
Some 130 LSC educators have asked for the day off, so Superintendent Les Huddle Monday decided to cancel classes on November 19, allowing his teachers to rally in front of state lawmakers.
Huddle says the district could not find enough substitute teachers to cover those who’ve requested personal days next Tuesday, so he had no choice but to cancel classes.
But he says he stands behind his teachers.
“I would just personally say I think it’s unfortunate that we have to go to this level to show support for public education,” Huddle says.
It’s not the first such protest teachers have aimed at legislators whom they note have awarded Indiana educators the smallest pay raises in the nation over the last 15 years.
Huddle says he’s in favor of letting teachers make their concerns known, and he’ll adjust the school year to meet the state mandate of 180 days of school per academic year.
“Should there be other activities that would require us to cancel school, we’ll just keep adding them to the end of the calendar until we get to our 180,” Huddle says.
Tippecanoe School Corporation and West Lafayette Schools are still planning to hold classes on the 19th.
West Lafayette Superintendent Rocky Killion says campuses in his district will have what he calls “solidarity” marches, where teachers begin the school day next Tuesday by walking in a coordinated fashion into their classrooms, to show support for colleagues protesting in Indianapolis that day.
Educators will head to the Statehouse for what’s known as “Organization Day” – a day where lawmakers begin to plan for the start of the legislative session in January.
While there, school staff will also push for a hold-harmless policy regarding results from the state’s newly-implemented ILEARN test.
Indiana uses standardized test results to help determine teacher pay and promotion decisions. When students fared worse on the first iteration of the ILEARN than they did on its predecessor, the ISTEP, some teachers worried they’d suffer as a result.