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147 Indiana school districts cancel classes as teachers protest at the state Capitol

At least 147 school districts canceled classes Tuesday for the “Red for Ed Action Day,” said Kim Clements-Johnson, spokeswoman for the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Thousands of teachers wearing red surround the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Tuesday.

Connie Neri-Jones and 150 of her colleagues drove more than two hours from East Chicago, Indiana, to protest.

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“Teaching is a profession, not a charity,” said Neri-Jones, who’s worked in Indiana schools for 47 years.

“We have a huge shortage of qualified teachers, and increased funding could help ameliorate that demand.”

The teachers were joined at the one-day event by supporters such as Becky Pringle, vice president of the National Education Association.

Schools that canceled classes have implemented an e-learning program for students to complete their assignments at home, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Last week, state Superintendent Jennifer McCormick released her 2020 legislative priorities for the Indiana Department of Education.

While there was no specific mention of teacher wages in her outline, McCormick said her main focus continues to be student learning, school improvement and operational effectiveness.

McCormick said she would discuss her 2020 legislative priorities Tuesday and their connection to the Red for Ed Action Day.

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