Teachers, school officials, parents and students from across the state are once again flocking to the State Capitol today. They’re jumping off the momentum from the thousands who showed up for an education rally on Saturday. Monday's lobby day for the Texas American Federation of Teachers. People will be handing out sardine cans to legislators.
“Yes we think that sardines illustrate the point that we need to keep our class sizes small. We have an increasingly diverse population of students that need that individualized attention,” Texas AFT spokesman Rob D’Amico told KUT.
Lawmakers are considering legislation that would increase the current cap on elementary class sizes. More than $9 billion in public education spending could be cut, in order to help close a state budget gap estimated as high as $27 billion.
“Lawmakers are seeing the impacts that this proposed budget has on regular people, has on schools that are the cornerstone of their community. The impacts are becoming real and when people show up, and stand up, and speak out lawmakers listen,” said D'Amico.
Those rallying Monday say the legislature shouldn’t balance the state's budget with a cuts-only approach. They want lawmakers to use the state’s Rainy Day Fund and look at new revenue options.