Today, legislators are back in session to organize for the upcoming General Assembly. Thousands of teachers representing more than 100 schools across Indiana will also be at the State House, advocating for equitable wages, fairer testing standards and an overall greater investment in public education.
Teachers and representatives will meet with lawmakers, share their stories and march on the Statehouse grounds
According to the National Education Association, for the 2017-2018 school year, Indiana’s average starting salary for a teacher was $35,943.
Indiana ranks as the 37th lowest paying state for teachers (lower than the surrounding states of Michigan, Illinois and Kentucky and comparable to Ohio.) For overall public school funding, Indiana ranks 47th.
With 90 percent of Hoosier children attending public schools, we at ICADV recognize how large of an impact this lack of investment in our youth may have on the future of our state. It’s difficult to create the safe, stable and nurturing environments that will protect them from violence when public school funding barely covers the essentials.
The low wages that teachers are earning are also hurting their quality of life and putting them at risk. Economic insecurity is a risk factor for experiencing violence and having health and mental health issues.
Unfortunately, we know that lots of kids in Indiana are showing up at school with histories of trauma. We need our teachers to do their best work to help these kids succeed, but it’s harder for them to offer trauma-informed instruction when they are also facing financial stress in their own lives
We believe everyone should earn a living wage and work in equitable conditions, especially those who have dedicated their professional lives to educating our children.
Increasing teacher pay and public school funding will create more equitable, safe and healthy communities. Today we hope to lift up the voices of the teachers and education professionals participating in this day of action. They are shaping a future generation and creating connections and spaces that could break the cycle of violence.