On Saturday, thousands of Texas school teachers and supporters of public education are expected to gather at the steps of the Capitol in Austin, and busloads of supporters are coming from San Antonio. The rally is called Save Texas Schools, and the goal is to convince the legislature and Governor Rick Perry to put back the billions of dollars that were cut from the public schools.
San Antonio State Representative Mike Villarreal is one of the rally’s organizers and speakers.
“This rally that’s taking place this Saturday is all about trying to reverse the unnecessary budget cuts that happened two years ago to children’s education, and we have the money.”
In the last legislative session public schools lost $5.4 billion in state funding after what was thought to be a funding shortfall. That resulted in classroom sizes ballooning and school faculty and staff being reduced across the state. It turns out that state leaders were wrong about the budget – the money was there - and those cuts didn’t have to happen.
“It’s really another unfortunate 'oops' moment in state fiscal management but we are here in session and we can correct this error," says Villarreal.
Villarreal says Texans need to demand answers, and demand the restoration of public education funding. He said public outcry about the problems of standardized testing is getting results with new laws being crafted to reduce testing. He said the same can happen with education funding.
Villarreal says there are still bus seats available at no cost for anyone who wants to join him going to Austin Saturday morning for the rally.