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STATE HOUSE–You may have heard that in some school districts the kids won’t have class on Nov. 19. The reason is Red for Ed Action Day. Teachers from across the state will gather at the Indiana State House to ask the legislature to hear their needs.

The reason some districts canceled classes are that so many teachers and other school personnel have registered to be there, said Keith GAmbill, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.

“We made the decision to use Organization Day. That’s the first time lawmakers come back in, ahead of the session,” said Gambill, a middle school music teacher in Evansville. “We set out what action we would like to take on that day and then invited our members who are supportive.”

He said nearly 7,000 people have signed up, so far. That includes teachers and other people who work for the schools.

“We have members who are bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria, secretaries, nurses, and they’re feeling the impact of these economic issues, as well,” said Gambill.

He said the state has ended up with $400 million more than was forecast, and the ISTA, believes educators deserve some of that for a pay raise.

He said the group will also tell lawmakers that they want teachers to be held harmless for the iLearn test scores, which legislators seem ready to do.

“We’re going to ask that also be carried through to hold harmless also schools and school districts, and that would be as it relates to their letter grades,” he said.

Gambill said teachers should also not have their evaluations linked to test scores, and should not be required to complete an externship to have their licenses renewed, a requirement that went into effect in July.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis