Education funding took a massive hit during the 2011 legislative session as law makers tried to balance the budget. About 5.4 billion dollars was cut, but many lawmakers in this session are hopeful that the full amount can be restored.
A little under a third of the funding restoration has been approved by the Texas Senate, which unanimously approved 1.7 billion additional dollars be allocated to Texas Schools. The Austin-American Statesman reports an additional 4.5 million dollars was allocated to Medicaid and healthcare for children.
There’s a perception, not unjustified, that it takes a high-priced high-powered lobbyist to get a bill passed in the Texas Legislature. But people still try to get something done with an army of volunteers. Some who are still in elementary school.
Around 100 kids from across the state came to Austin for the Texas Home School Coalition's rally day. The kids spent the day learning about the legislative process, yes they got school credit for participating, and to help support home school legislative efforts.
On Saturday the Kashmere High School Marching band, the modern day group of students carrying the name of the legendary Conrad O. Johnson-led award winning group of the late 60s, marched to lead the Save Texas Schools rally at the State Capitol in Austin to urge lawmakers to stop cutting funding to public schools and reign-in standardized testing.
With legislative discourse choking public education, activists, parents, and students descend on the capitol tomorrow for Save Texas Schools. The rally runs noon-1:30pm, but the march on state government begins at the Congress Ave. Bridge, 10:45am, led by the Kashmere HS Marching Band, descended from the famous Houston funkestra.
The December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut left the nation stunned and grief-stricken – and scared it could happen again.
Texas lawmakers have filed a handful of bills they say could increase security for students and peace of mind for parents. But some say those bills are more show than substance.
"A couple of bills are obviously just designed to appeal to the NRA while making it appear that they’re trying to make schools safer, when in fact they wouldn’t," says Texas State Teachers Association spokesman Clay Robison.