EVSC to close school Nov. 19 for local teachers to attend rally in Indianapolis

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. announced schools will be closed on Nov. 19 so teachers can attend the Indiana State Teachers Association’s Red for Ed Action Day in Indianapolis.

“I support our teachers advocating for funding levels that, at a minimum, keep pace with annual inflation rates for each and every public school district,” EVSC Superintendent David Smith said in a release on the EVSC Facebook page. “We did not make the decision to close without a great deal of thought due to the impact this has on our families; however, our current and future students deserve to be taught by teachers who are valued and respected for the tremendous work they do in our classrooms.”

This school day will be made up using the virtual learning option, according to the EVSC Facebook post. Further details will be shared ahead of the Red for Ed event.

Educators from all over the state are expected to attend the ISTA-led rally at the Statehouse and air their grievances, particularly about their pay.

Nearly 30 more school districts across Indiana have canceled school or scheduled e-learning days, according to Chalk Beat, an education-focused news website. 

Most neighboring school corporations will remain open Nov. 19. The Warrick County School Corp. announced its closure Thursday afternoon, while schools in Dubois, Gibson and Posey County plan to proceed with scheduled classes.

EVSC educators have recently voiced their frustrations following the announcement of the tentative agreement between the EVSC and the Evansville Teachers Association’s bargaining team. 

According to a document outlining the agreement, teachers will receive a $500 increase this year and another $500 increase next year on top of their base salary, with both years including a 1 percent and 1.5 percent stipend.

Some teachers characterized the agreement as “pathetic.”

ETA President Michael Rust responded to that description ahead of a meeting with teachers Monday.

“If anything is pathetic, it is the way the state legislature has continued to under-fund public education in favor of choice scholarships and charter schools — mostly in the Indianapolis area,” Rust said. 

There will be a vote to ratify the tentative agreement between Wednesday and Friday.

— Courier & Press

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