Waking up at 5:30 am after a week of double shifts is not how I planned to spend my first Spring break Saturday. My father taught me that there are times you have to do what you have to do, regardless of how you feel. Today, I had to be in Austin.
The school district I teach in has been slow to release information regarding any reactions to budget "adjustments" that will need to be made to meet budget short falls for next year. One of the things that has been on the list of schools all over the nation are layoffs. The target is for the new teachers fist. The one to three year teachers that have just started their journey, have started living the life they have dreamed of since childhood when they fist clutched chalk and taught their dolls and stuffed animals. My best friend is 40 days from being out of this range. She received the notice that her contract is up in the air last week. This has sent us both on a mission to save not just her, but the children and the teachers that will remain. It is the reason I wake up when I would really love to sleep late.
An organization, Save Texas Schools, organized a rally to march onto the capitol building. When I got there, they had the building surrounded and were marching to the main stage set up in the back side. "Save our schools," was chanted by more then 10,000 Texas teachers and education supporters.
I am wearing mine! (Don't judge the hair it was windy and humid. And the pink face is from 15 minutes of being in the sun. Don't even want to talk about what the face looks like now. Whooo. Should have worn giant sunglasses like my friend, then you wouldn't see the bags under the eyes.)
Back to the rally...
The most amazing of the speakers was the Superintendent from Perrin-Whit ISD (outside of Ft. Worth), John Kuhn. In his inspired speech he requested equitable treatment for school districts. Likening the present system that lawmakers are continuing to create as "the new American caste system," where the rich send their children with vetted resumes to get a private education while funding is continually cut for the poor, and the immigrant. Mr. Kuhn stated that he will not be apart of such a system, he will educate every child especially the "broken." The crowd erupted into cheers. Goose bumps crawled up my skin.
That was the moment I drove three hours to feel. Being a part of the community of Texas educators standing together and yelling out that we would stand together as one.
I beg fellow Texans to become educated on the issue and vote accordingly. This is not the time to stand passively by, shrugging and saying "it will be what it will be, no one will listen to me." You have to talk to be heard. Exercise your first amendment right, and protest! Shout and be heard.
If you missed the rally and live in Texas there will be a second one, Monday*
Be there. Your children's future depends on it.
******************Ok. Just so there is no confusion this was part of her original post, however obviously that was March 12, so this second rally/march has already occurred. *****************
I just wanted to say thank you again to V. Furnas for letting me re-post her original post. And I encourage all my readers to go check out her blog Life 4 Me By Me.