Monday, August 14, 2011 - Austin, TexasFifteen buses bound for Austin lined up early at the Dallas AFT office. Before sun-up they were packed, resembling the cans of sardines several Alliance officers carried to legislators. Today was Lobby Day, an annual event sponsored by Alliance AFT, state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
Dallas ISD teachers, counselors, librarians, custodians, cafeteria workers, parents, community supporters among others on the buses or driving their cars, spoke a unified message -- "Please invest in our students and the future of Texas. Don't cut funding for education."
Achieving a balanced approach to balancing the state budget will require bi-partisan votes. The AFT delegation from Dallas visited offices of members of the Appropriations Committee, watched the general session, sat in on committee meetings, spoke with representatives or their assistants, left messages and did a lot of chasing.
Linda Bridges, president Texas AFT, introduced national president Randi Weingarten among several speakers who encouraged thousands of AFT members and school supporters from throughout the state as they rallied on the capital lawn. State Senator Royce West also spoke at the rally.
Dallas Alliance AFT members did an outstanding job of organizing and facilitating Lobby Day 2011. This opportunity, which occurs every two years, was available for all Dallas members and school supporters who wished to participate.
Thank you Dallas Alliance AFT president Rena Honea, Lobby Day 2011 coordinator Judy Bryant, executive committee and members who worked to make this mission a success.
Texas AFT Petition
• Saving 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.
• Using the $9.4 billion Rainy Day Fund, a self-replenishing stabilization fund meant to meet service needs in tough economic times.
• Maximizing 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.