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Dallas Educators Make Case to Legislature


Monday, March 14, 2011   

DALLAS - Thousands of school employees and their supporters from across the state are converging on the Capitol today, hoping to convince lawmakers that growing numbers of Texans will not accept looming cuts to public education. There are signs legislators are responding to the pressure, according to Rena Honea, president of Alliance AFT, Dallas, the state's largest teachers' union.

Honea points to recent bipartisan efforts to tap into the state's $9.4 billion "rainy day fund" - an option Gov. Rick Perry has repeatedly opposed.

"There has been an outcry from the public to the legislators in Austin to do the right thing and to not take a cuts-only approach. We need a balanced approach to make this funding gap go away."

If the current draft budget passes, Dallas schools might be forced to lay off more than 3,000 classroom teachers and counselors.

Such job losses across the state, Honea says, would stall Texas' economic recovery.

"You will have an unemployment rate that has just skyrocketed, which means if people do not have money coming into their homes, they're not going to be putting money back into the economy."

Texas AFT is calling for solutions that rely on less-severe spending cuts with the help of new education dollars from federal sources and from closing tax loopholes, as well as accessing part of the "rainy day fund."

Rally/Lobby Day begins at noon Monday at the Texas State Capitol, 1100 Congress. Texas AFT is sponsoring Monday's Capitol activities.

More information is available at

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