South Bend, Mishawaka schools back teachers by closing on Red for Ed Action Day

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - A growing list of schools in Michiana will not be in session on Nov. 19 so teachers can participate in Red for Ed Action Day.

Some of those participating include teachers and staff from both the South Bend Community School Corporation and the School City of Mishawaka.

The only problem is it’s going to cost students a day away from the classroom.

South Bend Superintendent Dr. Todd Cumming said Thursday that closing schools for a day to support teachers is a price most school districts are willing to pay.

“They are there to support teachers, supports students and advocate for education,” Cummings said.

It’s a chance for faculty, staff and students to go to the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday, Nov. 19, to fight for greater resources such as teacher salaries, school funding and improving education in the classroom.

More than 20 school districts in Indiana have decided to close on Red for Ed Action Day so far, with South Bend schools being one of the first.

"We wanted to give parents as much time as we possibly could to make the choice of how they are going to do child care, but also we wanted to make sure we were supporting our teachers. They wanted to advocate, and I believe we were the tipping point in other districts deciding to do the day off,” Cummings said.

One of those districts also following suit was Mishawaka, which announced on Wednesday that it, too, will be closing.

“It’s got increasingly more difficult to have funding that we need for our public schools. I’m grateful to say that our school board fully supports our teachers to advocate for our children here in the School City of Mishawaka,” Superintendent Wayne Barker said.

According to the National Education Foundation, the state of Indiana is in the bottom 15 for both average starting salary and average teacher salary.

It’s also third worst in the country in regard to student spending, which is the reason why Cummings says he will be attending Red for Ed.

“They are advocating for education as a profession, for new teachers, for students and we wanted to give them that opportunity, and I’ll be there with them that day,” Cummings said.

Cummings says students will have to make the school day they miss on Red for Ed Action Day at the end of the school year.

Barker says Mishawaka schools will using a make-up day on March 20, 2020, for their students.

Red for Ed Action day will be held at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19.