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Arlington Teachers Putting Out The SOS

By Joel Thomas, CBS 11 News
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blueribbon

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The budget forecast for Arlington ISD schools is bleak.  So teachers in the district want to make sure everyone knows just how bad it is.  Facing a possible $48 Million shortfall, AISD is considering deep cuts and reductions.

Teachers at Wimbish Elementary wanted to find a unique and high profile way to let parents know how dire the situation is.  And they had the perfect place for a message to be seen.

“Randol Mill and Fielder are pretty popular streets for cars to go in and out so they see it,” said Wimbish Elementary School teacher Liz DeLoach about the location of her school.

DeLoach teaches pre-k classes. But she also wanted to teach parents a lesson about school funding.  “We just felt somebody needed to say, ‘Hey, yeah, this is important. And not just for the school but the community’.”

She and and another teacher wrapped blue ribbons around the school’s trees and used blue cups stuck into a chain link fence to spell out SOS: Save Our Schools. The symbols were part of a statewide rally in Austin weeks ago. But it is a message people at the school don’t want to fade from public view.

“We just want to keep it in the public’s eye that in the State of Texas there is a crisis with our education system for funding,” said school principal Russ Berrone .

“I can’t go down to Austin and I can’t convince other people but I can put SOS out there and somebody else can take it from there,” DeLoach said.

“We want to keep this at the forefront of what’s going on in education and so when people drive by they don’t forget there’s a crisis right now,” Berrone said.

The ribbons have an effect on parents.  “They just didn’t realize that their children were going to have more students with them in the classroom and their teachers were going to leave,” DeLoach said. “And that scared them. And a couple of them have even asked them who do i call. So that helped.”

School administrators say the ribbons will stay until the legislature finishes its work on school finance.

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