There is no way to sugarcoat the damage that the governor and the legislative leadership are inflicting on public schools, teachers and school kids.
Before time runs out on the special legislative session, we are urging TSTA members who want to make a difference to come to Austin next Tuesday (June 7) and lobby their legislators in person, letting them know in no uncertain terms that deep cuts to the public education budget, larger class sizes, laying off teachers and forcing others to take furloughs and pay cuts are unacceptable.
Still in play at the Capitol are bills that would cut teacher pay, repeal important teacher employment rights and raise the 22-1 class size cap for K-4, which would make it easier for school districts to fire teachers in the primary grades.
The main state budget – the worst for the public schools in 27 years — already has been sent to the governor, but there is time for lawmakers to appropriate additional money in a supplemental bill. TSTA is urging them to start by spending $6 billion of taxpayer money that is still sitting in the Rainy Day Fund. Gov. Perry would like to use that $6 billion to brag to Republican primary voters around the country that he has “saved” money in Texas. It is unconscionable to play politics with emergency, taxpayer funds while laying off educators and making other deep cuts in educational quality.
Please come to Austin and make a stand for the public schools and educators’ jobs. Bring friends and parents with you. Your own job – or the job of someone you know – may be at stake. And, it is not an exaggeration to say that the future of public education in Texas is on the line.
Before you go to the Capitol, we will provide briefings at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the L.P. Sturgeon Room (basement level) of the TSTA Building at 316 West 12th Street (between Lavaca and Guadalupe) in Austin. Call TSTA Public Affairs at 877-ASK-TSTA (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) to let us know you’re coming.