Chesterton Tribune



CHS staff and students 'walk in' for school funding

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Chesterton High School teachers and students held a ‘walk-in’ demonstration in support of the National Education Association’s #RedForEd campaign this morning.

Dozens of staff and students, most wearing red, gathered in solidarity with educators at the flagpole in front of CHS at approximately 7:20 a.m. and walked into school together.

Bobbi Hall, co-president of the Duneland Teacher’s Association, said #RedForEd is about ensuring traditional public schools get enough resources from the state in the face of a changing educational landscape.

“They’re doing walk-ins as opposed to walk-outs,” said Hall. “But it’s going to get to a point, if the state doesn’t do anything, where we’re going to have to walk out.”

“No teacher at Duneland wants to do that.”

Hall said the demonstrations and the campaign aren’t about salaries, but about protesting a lack of respect for public school educators as funding is increasingly directed elsewhere.

“We’re still not getting the funding we should,” Hall said.

Bob DeRuntz, CHS history teacher and chairman of negotiations for DTA, said he couldn’t be more proud to teach in a supportive community like Duneland, but state support continues to lag.

“Our frustration and disappointment is with the failure of our state legislature and our governor to address the worsening teacher shortage, funding shortfalls for our community’s public schools, and lack of respect for the incredibly difficult and important work our teachers do every day for our community,” DeRuntz said.

DeRuntz said the General Assembly is about to deliver a budget, which he says they’ll tout as “a historic deal for education,” though it diverts funding to voucher programs, for-profit charter schools, and virtual schools “with much less accountability” compared to public schools.

Under the new budget, public schools will see a 4% increase in funding over the next two years, while charters, voucher programs, and virtual schools will see 15 to 20% increases, according to DeRuntz.

“Of all 50 states, Indiana now ranks dead last in funding for public school teachers over the last 15 years,” said DeRuntz. “We need our community to stand together with our teachers for our public schools and demand better from our state, or elect officials that will do better.”


Posted 4/25/2019





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