Concord Community Schools teachers attend 'Red for Ed' rally in Indy
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Teachers from all over Indiana traveled to Indianapolis Saturday afternoon for a rally to urge legislators to invest in education.
More than 1,500 people attended the rally.
Among them were teachers, retirees, school bus drivers - even student. They all want the same thing; an increase in teachers' pay.
Right now many are struggling to pay the bills and paying out of their own pockets for class supplies and they're saying enough is enough.
Phillip Habecker, a social studies teacher at Concord High School, says he is tired of the lack of funding and wants to see change.
"Education funding in Indiana has been lacking for a long time now. I have a number of colleagues and friends who have left, great teachers who have left the job because it's just untenable," said Habecker.
Habecker wasn't alone. Neil Boston has been through multiple changes the past 38 years as a teacher.
Boston says he wasn't there for himself but for the young teachers coming out of college and receiving little pay.
"The wages they are getting for being a professional with a college degree is way below what they deserve," said Boston.
Signs at the rally were asking for a five percent increase but Concord teachers are just asking for three percent.
Concord School Board member Tim Yoder expressed his thoughts about legislatures increasing funds.
"A one point five percent probably isn't going to get us back to education where it needs to be. To support education, public education, we just do that and it will keep bleeding into current teachers and future teachers and that can only help Indiana," said Yoder.
Jennifer Ross, a reading specialist at Concord Elementary, attended the rally to fight for younger teachers but also teachers who have been teaching for some time and she is ready for a change.
"We got to pay teachers more, we have had several first years, second-year teachers leave the teaching profession and they were fabulous teachers but they couldn't make it on the salary," said Ross. "That's why I'm here today especially for these newer teachers so they can make a decent wage and get the respect that they deserve or working with kids."
Teachers say with a pay increase they know it will help them and the overall classroom.