West Lafayette Schools, Still Open, Add To 'Red For Ed' Rallies

Nov 19, 2019

West Lafayette Education Association Co-President Andi Hipsher (right) leads students and teachers into West Lafayette High School Tuesday.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

As many of their colleagues from Lafayette and Tippecanoe County schools protested in Indianapolis Tuesday, teachers at West Lafayette schools held classes – but not before convening early morning rallies at several schools.

“When Indiana’s state budget increased public funding by only 2.5 percent, while charter schools and voucher programs received more than ten percent increases, we are being ignored," West Lafayette Junior High School Student Council President Rahul Durai told a crowd of about 100 people who assembled at West Lafayette High School around 7:30 a.m. "When Indiana laws requires that our old Happy Hollow School building be given to charter schools for a buck, we are being ignored.”

West Lafayette High School science teacher – and co-president of the West Lafayette Education Association -- Andi Hipsher says she hopes lawmakers get the message from Tuesday’s events. But if not, she says there’s always the ballot box.

“We kinda want to keep it less political today," Hipsher says. "But I have a feeling that as time goes on, it will start to lean that way.”

More than 10,000 teachers were expected to attend Organization Day at the Indiana Statehouse Tuesday to make their pleas to lawmakers for better pay, less stringent training requirements and lower-stakes standardized tests, among other items.