After weeks of Fort Wayne Community Schools board members urging parents to contact their legislators about public school funding, President Anne Duff on Monday encouraged teachers to do the same.
Duff said educators can shed light on the importance of complexity funding – the state dollars schools get to better support students whose families receive welfare and food stamps.
She relayed stories from teachers describing the needs students living in poverty have compared to those living in middle-class and affluent families.
One teacher taught twin sisters who attended school on alternate days because they only had one pair of shoes to share. The teacher bought them shoes.
Another set of siblings planned to walk home after an event at school ended at 11 p.m., but a teacher offered them a ride. Once at their house, the teacher asked the students to turn on a light to indicate they got inside safely, but they said they couldn't because they didn't have electricity. The family couldn't pay their bill. It was December.
Teachers also told Duff about students affected by violence, including children who saw family members get shot and killed and children who survived wounds.
"Obviously, complexity funding isn't going to change these issues, but this is just tip of the iceberg of what children in these situations deal with daily and why it is more challenging and more costly to educate children living in poverty," Duff said. "Teachers, remember to share your stories. They're important."