Why one district won’t close for next week’s public education rally

West Lafayette schools will not take the day off for Red for Ed Action Day. Instead, they'll encourage parents to attend. (WTHR, Dustin Grove)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WTHR) — More than 100 local school districts across Indiana will close their doors Tuesday as teachers attend a public education rally at the Statehouse.

West Lafayette Community Schools, however, will not be one of them.

“We believe that our school district should remain open on Nov. 19,” said Superintendent Rocky Killion in a letter published to the district website. “We agree that our students are our number one priority and therefore we will keep our doors open for them on Nov. 19.”

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Killion said the district still plans to support the rally.

“I think Tuesday's going to be a turning point,” Superintendent Killion said. “I think it'll be a greater turning point if legislators see thousands of parents there.”

He said a handful of teachers will still attend the rally but that parents and community members may send an even stronger message.

“I think that's really important," he said. "Sometimes I think we're seeing, when just educators are involved, that we're complaining. (But) we're at a breaking point.”

According to the Indiana State Teachers Association, educators want to encourage lawmakers to use part of the state budget surplus to increase teacher pay. They point to research that shows, of all the states and Washington DC, Indiana ranks last in salary growth.

Critics are also upset over what they call irrelevant, infeasible licensing requirements and an expensive standardized testing program that they claim isn't fair.

“It's not ok that 8, 9, 10-year old children don't need to be shouldering the weight of how much money their school is going to get based on a standardized test that really doesn't reflect anything about who they are or what they know,” said Amber Van Metre.

“I think it's really important to support (teachers) and be there,” said Marla Bleustein-Kyburz, who also has children in the district.

Bleustein-Kyburz said she plans to either attend the rally in Indianapolis Tuesday or a walk-in to be held at each West Lafayette school building. The walk-in was organized as another way to show local support.

“Our children spend 35 hours a week, 12 years out of their life in schools,” said Van Metre. “And if we’re not getting involved and we're not realizing what's going on, we may not be giving them the best start they deserve.”

School districts closing Nov. 19

  • Alexandria Community School Corporation
  • Anderson Community Schools
  • Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
  • Baugo Community Schools
  • Beech Grove City Schools
  • Blackford County Schools
  • Blue River Valley Schools
  • Carroll Consolidated School Corporation
  • Center Grove Community School Corp
  • Centerville-Abington Community Schools
  • Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation
  • Clarksville Community School Corporation
  • Clinton Central School Corporation
  • Clinton Prairie School Corporation
  • Cloverdale Community Schools
  • Community Schools of Frankfort
  • Concord Community Schools
  • Crawford County Community School Corporation
  • Crothersville Community Schools
  • Culver Community School Corporation
  • Decatur County Community Schools
  • Eastern Pulaski Community School Corporation
  • Elkhart Community School Corporation
  • Elwood Community School Corporation
  • Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation
  • Fayette County School Corporation
  • Fort Wayne Community Schools
  • Franklin County Community School Corporation
  • Franklin Township Com School Corporation
  • Goshen Community Schools
  • Greater Clark County Schools
  • Greencastle Community Schools
  • Greenfield-Central Community Schools
  • Griffith Public Schools
  • Hamilton Heights School Corporation
  • Hamilton Southeastern Schools
  • Huntington County Community School Corporation
  • Indianapolis Public Schools
  • Jac-Cen-Del Community School Corporation
  • Jay School Corporation
  • Jennings County School Corporation
  • Kankakee Valley School Corporation
  • Kokomo School Corporation
  • Lafayette School Corporation
  • Lake Ridge Schools
  • LaPorte Community School Corporation
  • Lebanon Community School Corporation
  • Lewis Cass Schools
  • Liberty-Perry Community School Corporation
  • Logansport Community School Corporation
  • Maconaquah School Corporation
  • Madison Consolidated Schools
  • Madison-Grant United School Corporation
  • Marion Community Schools
  • Michigan City Area Schools
  • Mill Creek Community School Corporation
  • Monroe-Gregg School District
  • MSD Boone Township (Hebron)
  • MSD Lawrence Township
  • MSD of New Durham Township (Westville)
  • MSD Pike Township
  • MSD Warren Township
  • MSD Washington Township
  • MSD Wayne Township
  • Mt Vernon Community School Corporation
  • Nettle Creek School Corporation
  • New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools
  • New Castle Community School Corporation
  • New Prairie United School Corporation
  • Noblesville Schools
  • North Adams Community Schools
  • North Adams Community Schools
  • North Central Parke Community School Corporation
  • North Daviess Community Schools
  • North Gibson School Corporation
  • North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation
  • North Miami Community Schools
  • North Newton School Corporation
  • North White School Corporation
  • Oak Hill United School Corporation
  • Oregon-Davis School Corporation
  • Peru Community Schools
  • Pike County School Corporation
  • Pioneer Regional School Corporation
  • Plymouth Community School Corporation
  • Portage Township Schools
  • Rensselaer Central School Corporation
  • Richland-Bean Blossom C S C
  • Richmond Community Schools
  • River Forest Community School Corporation
  • Rush County Schools
  • Salem Community Schools
  • School City of East Chicago
  • School City of Hammond
  • School City of Mishawaka
  • School City of Whiting
  • SENSE Charter School
  • Shelbyville Central Schools
  • Shenandoah School Corporation
  • Sheridan Community Schools
  • South Bend Community School Corporation
  • South Central Community School Corporation
  • South Dearborn Community School Corporation
  • South Gibson School Corporation
  • South Harrison Community Schools
  • South Henry School Corporation
  • South Newton School Corporation
  • South Putnam Community Schools
  • South Vermillion Community School Corporation
  • Southern Hancock County Community School Corporation
  • Southwest Parke Community School Corporation
  • Southwestern-Jefferson County Consolidated Schools
  • Taylor Community School Corporation
  • Tippecanoe School Corporation
  • Tipton Community School Corporation
  • Tri-Central Community Schools
  • Tri-County School Corporation
  • Tri-Creek School Corporation
  • Tri-Township Consolidated School Corporation
  • Twin Lakes School Corporation
  • Union County College Corner School District
  • Union-North United School Corporation
  • Vigo County School Corporation
  • Warrick County School Corporation
  • Warsaw Community Schools
  • Washington Community Schools
  • West Central School Corporation
  • West Clark Community Schools
  • Western School Corporation
  • Western Wayne Schools
  • Whitko Community School Corporation