I will be there and I plan to call my representative to schedule a meeting time because they need to hear our stories -those on the front lines of education.

This article below I obtained from the AFT Facebook:

Hear them roar

Record number of teachers headed to the Capitol for Lobby Day and Community Rally

Thousands of teachers, school employees, and parents will amass on the Capitol grounds Monday at noon for the Texas AFT Lobby Day and Community Rally. The event is traditionally held the first day of spring break during legislative sessions, but the numbers coming this year are triple the usual crowd.

“We have a record number of school employees committed to the rally, with Dallas alone busing in 900 people, so get ready to hear them roar,” said Linda Bridges, Texas AFT president. “I think it’s pretty clear that the cuts-only approach embraced by some of the state leadership isn’t cutting it with the teachers and parents who understand what it would mean to try to educate our kids with drastically reduced resources.”

Also unique to the event this year will be the participation of hundreds of parents, union members and school board trustees who are helping to carry the message that a balanced approach is needed to balance our state budget.

Monday’s rally follows a successful “Tele Town Hall Meeting” with 6,633 Texas AFT members that spurred hundreds of phone calls to legislative offices asking lawmakers to keep the 22:1 class-size law. And it will come two days after thousands gather for the Save Texas Schools Rally.

“This wave is going to keep rising, and lawmakers will know that millions of Texans stand behind our kids, because they are our future,” Bridges said.

Speakers for Monday’s rally include:

* Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers President
* Charles Foster Johnson, Coalition for Public Schools, Christian Life Commission
* Allen Weeks , Save Texas Schools
* Anne Dunkelberg, Center for Public Policy Priorities
* Juliet Stipeche, Houston ISD Trustee
* Becky Moeller, Texas AFL-CIO President

The message brought to the Capitol will echo Texas AFT’s petition on www.txcandobetter.org, which asks lawmakers to:

• Save thousands of teachers’ jobs, pre-K funding, and other crucial public education services by taking a balanced approach to balancing the state budget, rather than relying on cuts alone. Texas can do better for our kids and our future.

• Use the $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, a self-replenishing stabilization fund meant to meet service needs in tough economic times.

• Maximize federal assistance, such as the Education Jobs Act money—$830 million for retaining teachers in Texas. Legislators should work with the governor NOW to complete the steps needed to obtain the money.

• Closing unproductive tax loopholes, exploring new revenue sources, funding schools equitably and fixing the structural deficit that leaves our state billions of dollars short each year.

Bridges said Monday’s efforts will reap results, especially since participants will spend the rest of the afternoon visiting lawmakers. “Some people ask, ‘Do rallies like this really make a difference?’ Of course they do, especially when the participants are doing much more than just rallying. They’re visiting with legislators to tell their personal stories. They’re writing letters, making phone calls and spreading the word with friends on Facebook. And their message will sink in with lawmakers who know deep down that schools are the cornerstone of their communities.”

Texas AFT represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.5-million-member American Federation of Teachers.

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