Local Students Make Music Video Addressing Education Funding Crisis

By Melissa Newton, CBS 11 News

NAVARRO COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of students in a Navarro County town are sending a message to lawmakers in Austin, through music.

They want the legislature to balance the state budget without cutting the programs and teachers that are making a difference in their lives.

Dustin Raxter isn’t an aspiring singer, but the freshman at Blooming Grove High School starts off a very special video.

“We thought it would be a cool thing, with the budget cuts going on in schools and stuff, that we get our word out there,” Raxter said. ”A lot of us do care and want to get better, and I don’t see how we can get better if we’re cutting so many classes.”

Raxter and other students in Tiffany Gillen’s speech class made a music video after learning about persuasive speech.

“We heard about other schools cutting teachers because they didn’t have enough money to pay for them,” explained sophomore Nick Gaskill, “If there was a way that we could get money from different things we weren’t using the money for and put it together and maybe get some of the teachers jobs back.”

Michaela Sawyer, who is a junior, was among the students who came up with a marvel idea. “We decided that if we could let our voices be heard about the education financing and stuff, it would help,” she said.

The students wrote all of the lyrics, and with help from their teacher, recorded, produced, edited and posted the video on YouTube.

The video already has nearly 1,700 views, and tackles the difficult subjects of cutting teachers, programs and elective classes.

“Yeah, we understand that cuts need to be made,” Raxter said, “but at the same time we want to make sure that kids our age have the same opportunities that we would have in the past.”

“We are the future and we need stuff in school to help us,” Sawyer said.

The students hope their music video and their message reaches all the way from their small town of Blooming Grove to the state capital.

“Our overall message to our Texas legislators is that another solution has to be found,” Gillen said, “If we put out the flames of their intellectual minds before their fires are even lit, what does that say to us as a society, that we don’t care about our children?”

What started as a class lesson plan has now bloomed into a musical mission to bring change to Texas.

“Just get people to realize that we do care and classes can help us to succeed,” Raxter said of the mentality of students. “So many different classes that people think are just electives or just blow off classes really help a lot of people get ahead in life.”

“The kids here are our future of tomorrow; they’re our leaders; they’re our presidents; they’re our bankers, our workers, nurses, doctors, lawyers,” Gillen said. ”If we don’t care about these students then we don’t care about our future.”

  • John Buckhannan

    Way to go Blooming Grove! So proud. Making the “big city” news station. Glad my son could be apart of it.

  • danette

    It’d be nice if there was a link to donate or pay for a downloaded copy of the video, and unless I missed it, there isn’t. *shrug* Just a thought… There are alumni out here that would be glad to donate to their alma mater.

  • Shawn Lord

    Lol Michaela you made it on the news nice. At least it was for a good cause :D Was that my sister in part of that video?

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  • Rick McDaniel

    Tell them to ask their parents just how much they actually paid, towards their education.

    Maybe then, they will get the truth.

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