IBJNews

Indiana teachers unions hope Congress helps states

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The leader of Indiana's largest teachers union says a proposal to help states avoid school cuts could help save as many as 7,200 jobs at the state's public schools if it makes it through Congress.

The federal money used for the proposal — up to $300 million for next year — wouldn't be a permanent fix, said Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association. Instead, he said it would help schools until the economy improves and state tax revenues rebound.

"It's not something that's sustainable for the long term. We hope it's a bridge to a better economy," said Schnellenberger, whose group represents more than 90 percent of Indiana's school districts.

If Congress approves up to $300 million for Indiana schools, he said it could save as many as 7,200 public school employee jobs, including those of Indiana teachers, teaching assistants and bus drivers.

Schnellenberger said about 5,000 to 6,000 teaching jobs will disappear this year and next without federal help. He said he's visited two Indiana schools that have seen a 20 percent reduction in their staffs, and a third school with a 25 percent staff reduction.

"The impact will be felt for years," he said.

Indiana Department of Education spokeswoman Lauren Auld said the agency has not taken a position on the federal bill and won't until a more final draft becomes available.

Lisa Koester, an educational diagnostician in southern Indiana, said she has personally suffered because of education cuts and hopes money is made available to save jobs.

"You're looking at a woman who is too young to retire. I'm 52," said Koester, whose school job was eliminated. "I have no source of income other than unemployment. I lose my medical benefits August 30. I have so much experience — 31 years experience — I'm at the top of the salary scale, so I'm not one who's going to be picked up."

Marisa Graham, vice president of the Anderson Federation of Teachers, said her colleagues are facing larger classes, fewer supplies and less pay because of the drop in tax revenue.

She said the federal proposal to give states more money to pay for more teachers is essential.

"It's our only hope, quite honestly, to this horrible situation we find ourselves in," Graham said. "We need this legislation to pass to reverse the things that are happening."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Liberals do not understand that marriage is not about a law or a right ... it is a rite of religous faith. Liberals want "legal" recognition of their homosexual relationship ... which is OK by me ... but it will never be classified as a marriage because marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman. You can gain / obtain legal recognition / status ... but most people will not acknowledge that 2 people of the same sex are married. It's not really possible as long as marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

  2. That second phrase, "...nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens..." is the one. If you can't understand that you lack a fundamental understanding of the Constitution and I can't help you. You're blind with prejudice.

  3. Why do you conservatives always go to the marrying father/daughter, man/animal thing? And why should I keep my sexuality to myself? I see straights kissy facing in public all the time.

  4. I just read the XIV Amendment ... I read where no State shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property ... nor make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunitites of citizens ... I didn't see anything in it regarding the re-definition of marriage.

  5. I worked for Community Health Network and the reason that senior leadership left is because they were not in agreement with the way the hospital was being ran, how employees were being treated, and most of all how the focus on patient care was nothing more than a poster to stand behind. Hiring these analyst to come out and tell people who have done the job for years that it is all being done wrong now...hint, hint, get rid of employees by calling it "restructuring" is a cheap and easy way out of taking ownership. Indiana is an "at-will" state, so there doesn't have to be a "reason" for dismissal of employment. I have seen former employees that went through this process lose their homes, cars, faith...it is very disturbing. The patient's as well have seen less than disireable care. It all comes full circle.

ADVERTISEMENT