Indiana Teachers Protest Changes

February 24, 2011

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Teachers lead a rally in Valparaiso, Ind., on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Michael Puente/WBEZ)

Public school teachers in Indiana say they’re under attack by Republican lawmakers who want to roll back collective bargaining rights.

That was the message more than 300 teachers from throughout Northwest Indiana gave at a rally on the steps of the Porter County Courthouse.

With chants of “save our schools,” some teachers aren’t sure how they become a lightning rod for controversy.

“I am aghast at what the legislature is trying to do to public schools for several reasons the first of which is robbing us of local control,” says Debbie Fray, a veteran teacher in the Valparaiso public schools system. “They are also trying to ram changes through that have absolutely no data to back them in terms of success."

Republican lawmakers are leading a push to limit contract talks to wages and certain benefits.

The GOP controlled Indiana Senate approved the proposal this week. It’s now in the Republican controlled House.

But similar to their Wisconsin couterparts, some Indiana House Democrats have fled to Illinois in recent days to thwart a vote.