School superintendents have long seen the current budget crisis looming on the horizon and have been urging legislators to do something to repair the structural budget deficit that would ultimately lead to the budget shortfall we have today.
But with all the media attention now squarely focused on education and what draconian cuts will mean for local schools, teachers, parents and students across the state are taking notice and getting involved.
Perhaps the best example of the groundswell of support for public schools lately is Save Texas Schools. The group has its roots in Austin, where local parents concerned about potential school closures began organizing. But they soon took their message statewide and now have thousands of supporters from across Texas. As of Thursday afternoon, almost 3,300 people were following Save Texas Schools on Facebook.
On March 12, Save Texas Schools is holding a march and rally at the State Capitol and are expecting at least 3,000 people to attend.
Their core message runs parallel to TASA’s legislative priorities and is similar to TASA and TASB’s Make Education a Priority campaign focus.
From the Save Texas Schools website:
What is Save Texas Schools?
Save Texas Schools is a nonpartisan statewide volunteer coalition of parents, students, educators, business leaders, concerned citizens, community groups and faith organizations. Our goal is to educate our state’s elected officials about the importance of maintaining funding for Texas public education – from pre-K through college – to the maximum degree possible, within the context of the current state budget crisis and beyond.
What Does Save Texas Schools Stand For?
Save Texas Schools calls on our state’s elected leaders to make education a top priority. Specifically, we ask them to take the following emergency measures immediately:
- Use the $9.3 billion Texas “Rainy Day” Fund to support schools.
- Sign the paperwork for $830 Million in federal aid for teachers.
- Fix school funding laws to be fair to all districts and to our state’s growing student population.
The march will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, at 12th and Trinity, one block east of the Capitol. The rally will be from noon until 2 p.m. on the south steps of the Capitol. According to the group’s website, a list of speakers and entertainment is in the works for the “historic, non-partisan, family-friendly event.”