Projected budget shortfalls have school districts across the state frustrated with job and program cuts. The rally, organized by the group “Save Texas Schools," is an attempt for districts to ban together and fight back.
Nexstar crews spotted teachers from San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and many smaller district in between.
Though many rallied against cuts, others took a different approach. The group “Americans for Prosperity” says it attended the rally with a different look at education.
“We know that legislators are going to have to make cuts,” says Cindy Mallette, Americans for Prosperity Communications. “It's inevitable. Education is such a large part of our budget.”
Armed with flyers of statistics they say came from the Texas Education Agency, the group says the “Save Texas Schools” rally is a push for negligent spending. They've now formed their own rally – through the “Red Apple Project.”
Mallette says their cause is a more rational way to solve the budget crisis.
“We've seen [that] overall in the state of Texas, spending priorities are way out of the classroom,” she says.
“All we can do is stand up, make our voices heard, and cross our fingers… hope they listen,” says Sallie Burchett, a Zilker Elementary parent in Austin. “We toot our horn about how great Texas is for economic development, but we don't produce kids who you'd want to work in your industry. I think it's time we need both."
Groups supporting “Save Texas Schools” say they want lawmakers to keep cuts out of education.
Mallette argues cuts should be aimed at administrative salaries.
“We are simply saying the priority needs to be, we have to make cuts… let's make them without hurting the students or the teachers,” she says.
Both groups say they're focused on quality education.
The “Save Texas Schools” march began at 11 a.m. Saturday near the State Capitol. The group walked the block around Trinity and Congress, then back to the south entrance of the Capitol.