A.O.B.E/ T.S.T.A. STRESS "STOP THE CUTS"
BROWNSVILLE — They've expressed their dire concern but now they're taking it a step further. The Texas State Teachers Association which received over two thousand "stop the cuts" signatures here in Brownsville, tallied over 25,000 from Brownsville to Amarillo.
It's those pages and pages of petition signatures that will hopefully open the eyes of Texas lawmakers.
"Once legislature starts they're going to give copies to the legislatures and the governor," says Association of Brownsville Educators, President, Patrick. N. Hammes.
Last session state government made big cuts to public education. Educators and supporters of education asked Governor Rick Perry to allow $2.5 billion dollars, from the seven billion dollar rainy day fund be used towards public education, but they held on to that money, and as a result...
"Thirty thousand education professionals and 11-thousand teachers have lost their jobs in the state of Texas," says Hammes.
He adds that in turn has directly affected the teacher to student ratio.
But they have yet another opportunity this upcoming legislative session.
"The Comptroller has come back and reported the tax revenue is much greater than expected. Now they're over $12 billion (dollars). They've picked up five billion (dollars) more than expected," says Hammes.
The TSTA is hoping that with the extra billions, getting that 2.5 billion they're asking for, for education, will not be an issue.
However, there is already skepticism; Hammes says the governor has already asked all departments to cut ten percent from their budgets, which again includes the State Department of Education.
"Fund public education! You're still going to have 10 billion (dollars) in the Rainy Day Fund. Fund public education; do what's right for Texas, do what's right for the kids, fund public education," stresses Hammes.