Dallas Teachers At Austin Educaton Cuts Protest

AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Thousands of teachers protested at the state Capitol against more than $10 billion in proposed cuts to public education and the group included a caravan of Dallas Independent School District teachers, administrators and community leaders.

The group representing the DISD, including three board members, boarded more than one dozen buses early Monday morning and headed to Austin.

The Alliance- American Federation of Teachers helped organize the trip.

Texas AFT President, Linda Bridges shouted out to the more than 3,000 demonstrators, “we are here today, because we know that Texas can do better.”

The Dallas group arrived at mid-morning and headed straight for the capitol building, hoping to meet face-to-face with their state representatives.

“I’ll definitely let him know that our students do not deserve to be crammed into the classrooms like sardines and that teachers need to be in the classroom, teaching and not on the unemployment line,” DISD teacher Chrisdya Houston said adamantly.

Most teachers were unsuccessful in their quest to speak with lawmakers. At Senator Royce West’s office, demonstrators signed a list to let the West know that they were there to defend their job and their students.

“We know that the greatest impact for us will be against our children,” explained DISD teacher Joseph Collier.

The rally began with a high school marching band and protesters carrying blue umbrellas as a symbol for the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Texas Federation of Teachers President Linda Bridges says the state needs a balanced approach to solve the budget crisis. “Choices should include the use of the Rainy Day Fund.”

Lawmakers must find a way to close a $27 billion budget shortfall and a draft budget could lay-off 100,000 teachers. That’s about a third of the state’s public school teachers.

During the rally one teacher said he didn’t know how his campus would survive with the kinds of cuts being proposed. “All of this is putting, it’s being put on the teachers backs. It’s not just, it’s not fair for folks that have dedicated their lives to teach.”

Not only are teachers worried about their jobs but also there are concerns about the reduction of school programs and how teaches who have jobs in September will deal with larger class sizes.

In North Texas alone, school districts could lose as much as $300 million in state education funds.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • RussP

    I know I’m going to sound like the old grandfather on some TV show but when I went to public school in the 60s and 70s, class sizes were 25 to 35 kids, no one got a free bus to school unless they lived 2 miles or more away and sports were limited to footbal, baseball and basketball (which were unnecessary frills even then) . There was also no pre K, no breakfast and no after school care provided at tax payer expense. Money’s tight and it may just be time to start getting back to a more basic education system.

    • Nicole

      @ RussP. First off, I don’t know what school system you are thinking of, but let me say this. There is no free bus to school unless you live more than 2 miles away. My kids get no “free” after school care at taxpayer expense. If such a thing exists, please let me know because I pay every week for this. My kids get a basic, scaled back, horrible education at a public school that my taxes help fund. There are no field trips, no nothing. There are no extra sports, nothing at all. Now they are talking about scaling back even more, which means no books, no help at all for the teachers. How much more basic do you want for these kids?

      • RussP

        I’ve got an elementary school behind my house with at least a dozen school buses dropping kids off as early as 7am and even though school let’s out at 3:15, there is supervised playground until 4:30 or 5:00. How they decide who gets the benefit of these services, I don’t know but have my suspicions. This is in Carrollton where they also have a football field suitable for use as the Cowboy’s practice field, a high school band with the director on a construction style scissor lift and another high school band with it’s own semi trailer and a half dozen fairly new tennis courts behind another high school. Some of this may have been paid for with outside money but I’m sure the school district incurs some serious expenses in maintaining these facilities.

    • B in TX

      Russ, when was the last time you attended a school board meeting? Did you educate yourself the last time you voted for your school board member? Or did you even bother to vote. How many times have you volunteered @ that elementary behind your house? Do you even know why the state budget is out of whack? Well, the legislature reduced your property taxes in 2006 and set up a new business tax that was suppose to make up the difference. It didn’t and Gov. Perry LIED and said that the budget was fine to get re-elected. That same legislation tied district hands so that they could NOT reduce salaries, below the previous year. So all they can do right now is fire new teachers, and staff. Real smart right. All the while Texas has never figured out how to properly fund education. Look at how the students score compared to other states, forget about other countries. What do you think an additional loss of 100,000 GOOD paying jobs (income) is going to do the economy? This will soon spiral down so tight we will have another GREAT DEPRESSION.

      • Ted

        I work for a local school and see so many students that are on free lunch yet have the latest cell phone etc., at times two, How does that work?? The same students think nothing of throwing good fool in the trash because they do not like it (I’m guessing they are not hungry enough). No child left behind is a joke! There are many students that do not want to lean and they do not belong in school, yet they cannot be expelled. What about the illegal immigrants (from any country), why should we pay for educating them? Schools need the ability to enforce discipline with immediate results and not be barred with useless paperwork. If a parent does not like it, let them pick up their child and go to another school. I do agree that most teachers should not be released but some programs do need to go.

      • StopSlickRick

        B in TX speaks the truth. Here’s the letter from the 2006 comptroller warning of the exact budget debacle we’re currently living. We didn’t listen to her then, it’s time we do something about this problem now.


      • RussP

        Board meetings no, educate myself before voting yes and the decision has usually been vote out those in charge to try to get someone who will do something more than business as usual. The school budgets, the state budgets and the federal budget are all out of whack for the same reason; too much spending by the politicians to appeal to certain voters while at the same time trying to cut taxes to appeal to other voters. Well after decades of this, the !@#$ has hit the fan and real cuts must be made to spending or the taxes will end up higher than the 35-40% the avarage homeowner pays now when you add up property tax, sales tax, income tax and the school board tax.

        This is also not a stand alone problem as you pointed out when referiing to job loss. That’s why all government regulations and programs need to be fixed now; social security, immigration, welfare, education and everything else that spends tax payer dollars.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/dallas-teachers-at-austin-educaton-cuts-protest/ Dallas Teachers At Austin Educaton Cuts Protest « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Dallas Teachers At Austin Educaton Cuts Protest Thousands of teachers are protesting at the state Capitol against proposed cuts to public education and that group includes a caravan of DISD teachers, administrators and community leaders. Go to News Source […]

  • Brandy

    Check your headline. “Educaton.” Really??

  • Jensequitur

    Well, yeah, but that’s Carrollton. What are they going to do to Poly? Or Eastern Hills? Sure, some schools will be just fine, because the residents are rich.

    This is really Perry’s attempt to starve the public school system so more people will be forced to rely on private schools. Preferably conservative Christian public schools. I guess he couldn’t attack the unions, so he went after the school system.

    • Nicole

      Exactly! My kids go to Crowley, which is one of the worst school districts when it comes to handling money. If my kids went to Carrollton or Southlake I am sure there would be a big difference.

  • Louise Bland

    Of course no one is going to talk with you. They’re cowards! Perry is a Coward!
    He is just another Hitler kind of people. The GOP doesn’t care about how that get it, they’re cutting away education, medicare and Social Security. They’re the worse bunch of SOB’s I’ve ever in my life known. Why don’t you take the money you’re giving other countries. NO YOU WANT THE GOP TO LOOK GOOD. All YOU CARE about is whowing how much money yuou’re saving this country. You’re the worse people in the world!!!

  • Tamie Moseley

    I’d love for the reporters to find Perry’s former teachers and find out what they think of their former student’s decision.

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