Teachers Wear “Red for Ed” in Protest of Low Budget

Teachers+take+a+photo+for+the+%22Red+for+Ed%22+Movement

Kahlin Lindholm

Teachers take a photo for the “Red for Ed” Movement

Teachers across the school wore red clothing with pins stating “Fund Our Schools!,” supporting a movement intended to garner more funding for school districts across the nation.

In order to raise awareness towards the dire financial situation most schools are in, teachers wore red clothing on February 4th and took to social media sporting the hashtags “#FundOurSchools” and “#RedForEd,” joining dozens of other schools across the nation in trying to improve funding for education.

Nevada, on average, spends $3,000 less for each individual student’s education than other states, creating a rising concern from educators and parents alike about the quality of education their children are receiving. This reflects with Nevada being consistently ranked as one of the bottom 3 worst scoring states for K-12 education. Actions are being taken to change this, however, by teachers within our own school.

“We’re showing solidarity as teachers in saying, ‘We can’t keep going like this,'” said Jeffrey Hinton, A-TECH’s building representative for the Clark County Education Association (CCEA) and U.S. history teacher. “You get to this point where it’s just cutting, cutting, cutting, and we just refuse to cut anymore.”

Alongside this, budget cuts have affected all reaches of Nevada. Teachers grow increasingly angry about a lack of classroom supplies, or poor quality supplies when they are provided. Many teachers in Nevada are also not being completely compensated for their efforts in educating the up-and-coming generation, with the average salary for a public school teacher being $400 less or lower than the national average.

“The biggest issue, especially with education, is people not standing up for what they need,” said Richard Knoeppel, Teacher of the Year for Nevada in 2018 and architecture teacher. “The last year, in states like West Virginia and Arizona, teachers are finally starting to speak up about not being compensated efficiently or effectively for the jobs they do.”

In states like Arizona, teachers have gone so far as to strike in protest of budget cuts, affecting their payrolls, classroom quality, and the quality of education for their students. Using the #RedForEd movement, Nevada is engaging in their own form of protest, hoping to have their voice heard by the Nevada Legislature, which opened on the same day that teachers in Nevada wore their red clothing.

“We’re not asking to be rich, but the idea of being compensated fairly for the jobs we do is something we want to make people aware of,” said Knoeppel. “But sometimes, as an educator, it’s not about being compensated. It’s about students. It’s about all of you.”