News from the Save Texas Schools Rally

Posted in Around The State, Education, Good Stuff, Public Schools, School Finance, Teachers at 2:20 pm by wcnews

Start at YNN Austin, Thousands gather at State Capitol to protest education cuts.

For the second year in a row, a statewide group dedicated to saving public schools took their calls for action to the State Capitol Building.

Hundreds of teachers, students and administrators marched Saturday demanding that lawmakers make school funding a priority.


In addition to speaking out against budget cuts and school funding, the group is also opposed to the emphasis lawmakers put on standardized testing. Good video from WFAA in Dallas, Teachers rally at Texas Capitol.

Hundreds of teachers, students and leaders from school districts around Texas are rallying at the state Capitol to decry $5.4 billion in education cuts approved by the Legislature last summer.

Here’s the Statesman’s article, Education cuts protested at Capitol rally, and what a concerned citizen had to say.

Sherry Dana’s reason for joining a rally protesting cuts in public education spending was summed up by a quote from the Italian poet Dante on a cloth bag slung over her shoulder:

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

As far as the retired Austin teacher is concerned, this is no time for neutrality.

“We want kids to be educated,” she said. “It makes this a better country.”

The Texas Tribune has a slideshow from yesterday.

Via the FWST, At rally in Austin, demonstrators slam state education cuts.

More than 1,000 teachers, students and administrators from schools across Texas rallied Saturday at the state Capitol to decry $5.4 billion in cuts to public education and demand that lawmakers restore some of that funding — or at least not impose another round of cuts next year.

The demonstrators, who also included parents and a number of Democratic lawmakers, including state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, marched through downtown, then gathered under the Capitol dome for nearly three hours. They chanted “Save Texas Schools!” and held up signs that read: “Cuts hurt kids,” “You get what you vote for” and “If you can’t read this, thank your congressman.”

Another sign implied that Republican Gov. Rick Perry would receive a failing grade for his role in the cuts. It read “Perry F-.” A student band from McNeil High School in Round Rock, just north of Austin, pounded drums, giving the rally a football-game feel as the booming sounds echoed off nearby buildings.

And from the AusChron, Save Texas Schools Gets Back in the Game.

Teachers, students, families and politicians gathered at the capitol today as part of the second Save Texas Schools rally. Many spoke to the crowd, but it may have been John Kuhn, superintendent of Perrin-Whitt Consolidated Independent School District, who finally found the perfect metaphor for Texas school funding: Football.
Kuhn was one of a list list of speakers that covered the panoply of public school advocates. Democrats like Congressman Lloyd DoggettReps. Donna HowardMark StramaEddie Rodriguezand Elliot Naishtat shared a stage with Republicans like State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff, union leaders, school administrators and students who addressed a large crowd on the south steps.

And last from the HChron, Educators and students rally against school cuts in Austin.

Sarah Mussleman is a teacher who could not find a full-time job in the Houston area for two years after graduation. State budget cuts, she said, have squeezed public school teachers – especially those with extended educations – out of the market.

“Fire Rick Perry, not school teachers,” her sign read at a rally Saturday protesting school funding reductions. Hers is one of a choir of complaints made at the Capitol, where more than a thousand people organized in hopes of turning up the heat on lawmakers to increase funding.


139 ISDs across Texas join Equity Center school finance lawsuit

Posted in Around The State, Education, Public Schools, School Finance, Williamson County at 9:21 am by wcnews

Here’s the text of the Equity Center press release, Diverse Set of Districts Makes Up Equity Center Plaintiff Group.

More than 135 school districts across Texas have officially joined the Equity Center’s legal fight for fair funding for all Texas taxpayers and students (see next page for full list). By passing resolutions to join the group, school boards across the state are sending the message that the current school finance system is unfair and unacceptable.

This group represents only the first wave of districts to join the effort, with as many as 300 expected to eventually become part of the plaintiff group. Updated lists will be released regularly as additional districts join during the upcoming weeks and months.

These districts represents a diverse mix of urban, rural, large and small districts. The districts may differ in their size or geographic location, but they all share one common characteristic — they are all underfunded by the Texas school finance system, and their children and taxpayers are not being treated fairly.

The Equity Center is a non-profit advocacy organization that was founded in 1982 to promote fair funding for all Texas school districts, regardless of their wealth. In addition to serving as a resource for every school finance lawsuit in recent history, the Equity Center regularly educates its 690 member school districts and the public on school funding issues and works closely with the Texas Legislature to promote policy that treats all Texas children and taxpayers fairly.

Page 2 of the press release lists all the ISDs involved. In Williamson County Granger, Hutto, Taylor, and Thrall  ISDs have joined the lawsuit.