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Education Rally Gathering Steam Online

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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Texas State Capitol

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texas parents want to make sure their voices are heard in Austin when it comes to the crisis in the classroom.  So what do frustrated moms and dads do to organize and let lawmkers know how they feel about school financing?  They go online and organize.

“Most of the parents I contacted were through emails or, if I saw them, personally,” said Angel Lewis, an Arlington mom with kids in elementary school and a volunteer coordinator. “And then Facebook, I went and contacted anyone I knew and told them, ‘Arlington’s in trouble and we can help out by contacting our represtentative’.”

But they’re doing far more than just e-mailing their representatives. Going online, Lewis was able to reach out to people like Melissa Harvey, another mother with an elementary school student.  “I never thought this would happen,” Harvey said. “I never thought education would be so low on the totem pole.”

Worried about the cancelation of the music program in her daughter’s elementary school, Harvey found out online about a massive rally in Austin and began organizing other parents.

The rally is scheduled for March 12 at the Texas State Capitol. Online links spread the word, organized schools even put together carpools. Now parents are using whatever tools they can to translate online presence to a physical presence in austin saturday.

And just one person like Lewis was able to motivate dozens to attend.  “Roughly, within our school, probably around 50,” Lewis said.

“I think its going to be fun and interesting to see all the people who are concerned about their children’s futures and their jobs as educators,” Harvey said.

“If it goes the way we want it to we’ll all be on there to say we made it happen,” Lewis said of their online presence. “And if it doesn’t then we’ll take steps to make sure that it gets changed and our kids are taken care of.”

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