State Senator David Niezgodski (D-South Bend):

“I fully support our public school teachers, and I’m proud of all the educators who are standing up to make their voices heard at the Statehouse this Tuesday. I’ll be welcoming South Bend area educators when they come to the Indianapolis rally for anyone who wants to talk to me in person.

“I agree with teachers; they deserve higher pay for all the work they do for our students. That’s why I joined my Senate Democratic colleagues to author the only bill in the Senate that would have given our teachers an immediate raise. I hope the majority party will reconsider this bill next session because it’s past time that we show our teachers we support them with actions and not just with words.

“There are two other ways the General Assembly can immediately help our teachers. We need to hold harmless the recent ILEARN test scores, so that they do not affect our schools’ accountability ratings and our teachers’ evaluations. We also should immediately do away with the ludicrous idea of asking educators to spend an additional 15 hours of their own time in externships to renew their licensing. If we truly want our students to benefit, then we should allow teachers to do what they do best in their own classrooms.”