IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - There is a movement underway in the nation pushing for better support of our students in the public school system. It's called Red for Ed.
Every Wednesday, teachers wear red clothes to school hoping members of the community will ask them why so they can get the word out. The Idaho Falls Education Association has signed on to the #redfored movement.
"It's a way of showing solidarity for the future of our students," says Laura Milton, IFEA president. "The teachers are not choosing a political party. But we believe there are some big holes in our education system that need to be addressed."
Milton and IFEA president-elect, Angela Gillham say "One thing we're doing is supporting the Governor's task force recommendations. Those include: Improving pay for veteran teachers and strengthening teacher retention, more resources to build awareness around student's mental and emotional challenges, increased full-day kindergarten opportunities, and improving early childhood literacy. "
Both representatives of the IFEA say Idaho has made some good strides in improving pay for teachers. They believe more can be done. " We don't want to be the training ground for new teachers, and then they leave to other states for better pay," says Gillham.
"We want the good teachers to stay in Idaho," says Milton.
One of their biggest concerns is the sad increase in mental health challenges for Idaho teachers. Idaho's suicide rate ranks about fifth in the nation and the new youth risk behavior survey shows that 23 percent of students have seriously considered suicide in the last year, the highest level in a decade. #redfored supports money in the budget for training programs for teachers since they seem to be facing the mental and emotional issues of students on a daily basis.
"It's something we weren't taught in college when we were majoring in education," says Gillham.
If you have any questions about #redfored, you're encouraged to contact the IFEA for answers.
You can find their contact information on their facebook page, below.