State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (Terre Haute): “We teachers are the boots on the ground. We help the administration to address issues that arise on a daily basis … Taking this away will hurt communication. It will say maybe we can talk later and maybe we can’t.”
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party is deeply dismayed at continued Republican attacks on public education found in SB 486.
The excessive Republican supermajority is repealing a 50-year rule that has helped teachers by requiring school administrations to speak to labor representatives about working conditions in the classroom, including the number of students in the classroom.
In addition, this bill eliminates a number of training requirements for educators, including those on gang violence, homeless students, and seizures.
As Indiana’s teacher shortage continues to balloon, Hoosier educators, families, and students deserve real solutions to recruit and retain more teachers, not a ploy to silence them into complicity.
The fact remains that Indiana has a C- rated education system, and that many teachers are leaving the profession to find other work.
But instead of focusing on solutions, the supermajority is insistent on doubling down on its war on public education. In addition to attempting to silence educators, they are pushing a proposal to allow unaccountable charter schools a share of referendum dollars.
“Our teachers are some of our state’s everyday heroes,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl. “Indiana Democrats will always stand with educators because they are the leaders making sure our students gain the skills they need to live happy and successful lives. SB 486 is another attempt by the Republican supermajority to ignore the teacher shortage and weaken teachers’ unions. Educators deserve respect from our legislators, including the full-funding of local public schools. Until then, it should be no surprise that Indiana’s teacher shortage will continue to grow.”
Hoosier Democrats will continue to stand united in support of our teachers and local public schools. Over nine out of ten Hoosier students go to a local public school, and solutions such as increasing teacher salaries and strengthening the communication between teachers and administrators would help our state solve its teacher shortage.
Statehouse Democrats opposed SB 486 each step of the way because it moves public education in the wrong direction.