Indiana State Teachers Association to announce 2017 priorities

Classroom school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Teachers Association will outline its goals for the 2017 legislative session on Wednesday morning. The teachers union will discuss what it wants lawmakers to accomplish for students, schools and teachers.

Education has been an especially hot topic at the statehouse in recent years, as schools around the state struggle to find enough teachers to fill classrooms.

This year, the union wants to lawmakers to focus on funding and support for public schools.

ISTA also wants to suspend accountability consequences for schools and teachers while the state transitions to a new form of standardized testing. Last session lawmakers passed a bill eliminating ISTEP.

24-Hour News 8 got an advance look at the goals.

ISTA PRIORITIES FOR STUDENTS: 

  • Give kids a safe environment and address the whole child, including all the issues children face from the outside that are brought into the learning environment.
  • Quit over-testing.
  • Level the learning field with a foundational preschool program.
  • Keep class sizes reasonable.
  • Provide adequate resources to offer individualized student learning.

ISTA PRIORITIES FOR SCHOOLS: 

  • Fairly and adequately fund our local public schools and include provisions which address the rising cost-of-living.
  • Suspend accountability consequences for schools, districts and communities while Indiana transitions to its new state standards and assessment.
  • Prioritize our community public schools where more than 90 percent of all Hoosier student attend.
  • Respect the rich history of collective action of educators and recognize that the best decisions are made when all interested parties work together.

ISTA PRIORITIES FOR TEACHERS:

  • On evaluations, hold teachers harmless while Indiana transitions to its new assessment system.
  • Ensure teacher evaluations are locally developed, focused on instructional support and based on multiple factors.
  • Reward additional learning, including master’s degrees.
  • Support professional development, including the recognition and incentivization of National Board Certification.
  • Offer loan forgiveness to promote teacher retention.
  • Respect the service of educators with a post-employment benefits system that keeps pace with the cost-of-living.

ISTA president Teresa Meredith will make the announcement at the statehouse at 10 a.m. Wednesday. 24-Hour News 8 will have crew at the event.