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Education Protestors Happy State Is Set To Tap Rainy Day Fund

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Students interact with their teacher during class. (credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

Students interact with their teacher during class. (credit: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s been a compromise in Austin that may ease the financial strain for North Texas school districts.

Governor Rick Perry and House leaders have reached an agreement to use $3.2 billion from the state’s reserve fund to close a budget deficit.

The announcement could be very good news for school districts like the Dallas Independent School District.

Tuesday afternoon parents and students from the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts made the latest appeal, to use emergency funds, directly to the governor.

The group staged a protest outside the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Richardson, where the governor was speaking at the Richardson Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.

“I’ve been to three rallies so far and I hope he’s [Perry] going to get the message someday that we are passionate about our school. We’re passionate about education. We’re passionate about the arts,” said student Gabbi Greenfield.

The group of parents and students carried umbrellas as they urged the governor to turn to the Rainy Day Fund to alleviate the planned budget cuts to schools.

Booker T. has been ranked among the best schools in the country. Under the proposed budget cut plan, the worst cast scenario had the school losing as many as half of its full-time employees.

“And the education [at Booker T.] is fabulous and to imagine that we might get it cut almost in half, I don’t even know how to fathom that,” Greenfield said.

The Booker T. PTA president, Patricia Arvantis, called the agreement a great first step toward saving the state’s schools. “I mean, I think we’re at a watershed moment. This is the biggest issue facing our nation,” she said.

Use of the Rainy Day Fund would give lawmakers wiggle room to deal with a revenue shortfall that could reach almost $27 billion when counting for population growth.

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