For many schools, the walkout is open-ended – teachers will go back to class when there’s an acceptable deal. Not every district wants that much uncertainty.
The faculty at Porter Public Schools decided to walkout this coming Monday. Just as importantly, they will be back in class on Tuesday.
Jentri Guinn teaches the advanced English class. She says, “I’ve had the same textbooks for the seven years I’ve been here. They were here before I was.”
Chronic underfunding is part of the reason Guinn has so many jobs at Porter. She’s a teacher, the counselor, curriculum director, testing coordinator, and occasional bus driver.
Despite frustrations over funding and pay, she and other teachers decided it was more important to be teaching.
Guinn said, “if we close for an extended period of time, we leave families without paychecks, we put students at risk of not graduating.”
Like most districts, the funding crisis has left Porter with fewer teachers and a smaller staff.
The algebra teacher was out today so other teachers are watching the class.
Additionally, first-year emergency certified coach and humanities teacher, Prentice Joseph, had to create his own curriculum because the school doesn’t have textbooks for that class.
“The kids don’t have adequate equipment to learn the knowledge that the state wants us to teach them,” said Joseph. “It’s left teachers worried about having what they need day to day, and about what students will have when they leave.”
“Sometimes I feel like we haven’t been able to prepare them like they deserve in a public education,” said Guinn.
The district has snow days available and, if the walkout should run an extended time, they will reconsider, but for now – it’s one day only.