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Indiana teachers make sea of red outside statehouse

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) – Thousands of Indiana educators are rallying outside the statehouse Tuesday morning in what they’re calling Red for Ed action day.

Teacher unions say about half of Indiana’s nearly 300 school districts will be closed Tuesday while their teachers attend the rally as legislators head to work.

Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools joined the list of districts closing their doors.

Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools plan to remain open and take part in “Walk-ins,” where teachers are encouraged to wear the color red.

Tuesday’s rally includes a meeting with lawmakers, a march on the statehouse grounds and teachers sharing stories.

Teacher unions say members are frustrated over seeing little or no pay raises in a decade but face additional demands from the state.

The event is slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and could run until 3 p.m.

Hoosier educators are rallying around these main points:

Teachers are asking lawmakers to use the state’s budget surplus to increase base salaries for teachers, invest in schools and make teacher pay competitive.

2. Hold Full-Harmless Students, Teachers and Schools on I-Learn Scores

Teachers say low I-Learn scores don’t reflect the hard work Hoosier kids and teachers are doing in their classrooms.

They’re asking legislators to hold teachers and students harmless until educators feel confident in the system.

3. Repeal 15-Hour Externship Requirements for Teacher Licenses / Post-Graduation Status 

Teachers said they don’t want schools to be judged on whether or not students got jobs or went off to college after graduation.

Educators and activists say the externship to renew their license puts an unfair burden on teachers, and they want the language on the books repealed.

RELATED: “More and more is being put on teachers’ plates”: Indiana teachers prepare to rally at Statehouse

ABC21 will have complete team coverage during the Red for Ed rally.

Reporter Jeff Neumeyer will be live at the statehouse speaking with lawmakers about their thoughts concerning the rally, while Anchor Kaitlyn Kendall will interview a handful of teachers taking part during the rally.

Reporter Corinne Rose will explain how school districts in 21Country who are not closing are addressing the issues.

Our coverage begins on ABC21 Morning News at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday and continues at ABC21 News at Noon, as well as our evening newscasts at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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