Denison Teachers To March On Austin - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Denison Teachers To March On Austin

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DENISON, TX -- Teachers from across Texas plan to converge on the state capital to demand more money from lawmakers, and some local teachers are among those taking part in the march.

A kindergarten teacher read about the group organizing the rally and decided to get involved. She says she wants to stand up for her students and now she is inviting other teachers to join in.

Most every student learns the Golden Rule, to treat others the way you would like to be treated. But one teacher at Golden Rule Elementary School says Texas lawmakers are not applying that lesson when it comes to school spending.

"Our funding was cut two years ago by billions of dollars and it's going into the general fund, it's not going into education, so what we're trying to do is get that funding back," says Denison Classroom Teachers Association president Shonna Voight.

Voight is organizing a trip to a rally at the State Capitol in Austin, similar to marches held the past two years. In 2011, legislators cut expenses including $5 billion allotted to education to avoid raising taxes. Governor Rick Perry has said it is more important how districts spend the money they get.

"There have been positions not filled for our paraprofessionals and our teachers' assistants because of the funding cuts," says Voight.

Voight says that the organization Save Texas Schools will pay for the bus to Austin and that 12 people have already signed up to attend the Saturday rally.

Save Texas Schools also wants lawmakers to reject private school vouchers and re-evaluate the new STAAR tests, which they say take up too much time.

"I have four children myself and I feel like we are doing a disservice to our students with the funding and the rules and laws that are being passed," says first grade teacher Jodie Maresh.

"They need more funding and more computers and all that," says parent Vernon House.

Voight hopes that together all the teachers from across Texas will make a difference. "A lot of us complain about not having the resources and not having the funds to do some of the things we would like to do for our students, and so I think now it's just time to stand up and our voices be heard," says Voight.

The bus will leave at 5 a.m. on February 23 to get to Austin for the rally. After a lengthy trial, a judge declared the Texas method of funding schools unconstitutional. The state is appealing to the Texas Supreme Court.