“Save the Schools” Rally

“Save the Schools” Rally

By Angela Wyatt - Special to TPA

 

 

 

Want to get the attention of thousands of Texans? Propose a 10 billion dollar spending cut to public education. An even bigger crowd than expected swarmed the “Save Texas Schools” rally in Austin. March 12, 2011.  More than 11,000 brave souls ready to stand up for Texas education, marched their way to the steps of the state capitol.  A Stampede of students, parents and educators lined the streets of Austin, Texas Saturday afternoon. Representatives from over 300 school districts were in attendance, according to Save Texas Schools. The crowd spanned several city blocks as it marched up Congress to the Capitol and participants filled up most of the building’s south lawn when they arrived, they had one lesson they wanted to teach lawmakers, and that was to  “Save Texas Schools.”  {{more}}                                                                                                                            Their songs, speeches and signs said it all very LOUD and CLEAR. People of every age, race came from every corner of the state gathered to protest against the proposed cuts of nearly 10 billion dollars to public education, cuts that have already hit home extremely hard for current unemployed teachers.         Throughout the rally during the two-hour event, many speakers and supporters came out. Among the crowd our own Austin Democratic Rep. Mark Strama, a handful of law makers came out to the “Save Texas Schools” rally. Guest speakers included Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Superintendent John Kuhn of Perrin-Whitt ISD in North Texas. Bill Hammond, the president of the Texas Association of Business, The Cipher, a student-led Hip Hop group focused on building positive youth, Clifton J. Ozen Magnet School Choir from Beaumont, Texas, Reagan High School All-Star Band from Austin, Texas leading the STS March and many more.                                                                                                                                                                                  As for Governor Perry, he received a strong, powerful message from Young Texas student and famous motivational speaker, Dalton Sherman 12 years of age, a Dallas student whose talks about hope and opportunity have earned him a television spot on Oprah, Dalton drew frenzied applause, when approached the mic and stated “We need our teachers. We need books. We need classrooms. We also need music, art and culture. We need these things to feed our minds,” Sherman told the crowd. “We are scared about our teachers and schools and our dreams.”                                                                                                                                                                     The rally was a nonpartisan effort but the feelings win the crowd was completely anti-Perry. Chants of “It’s raining it’s pouring, but Rick Perry is snoring” and many slogans like “Flunk Perry” were repeated throughout the rally.                                                                                                                                                    Save Texas schools is a liberal group posing as a non-partisan, education assistance system, organization or method. Texas state director Peggy Venable says in a statement “We can cut education spending without cutting instruction or teachers. But educators are calling in all of their forces to oppose any education cuts”. With all the publicity “save our schools” received, after speaking with organizer’s and many school staff from all over Texas, they were pleased of how successful the rally turned out!