Public schools rally in Austin on Monday

Hundreds of Houston ISD educators, parents and students used their first day of spring break to advocate for education at the State House.

HOUSTON – Hundreds of Houston ISD educators, parents and students used their first day of spring break to advocate for education at the State House.

At about 6:30 a.m., nine charter busses hit the road for Austin all set to meet with lawmakers regarding the latest issues facing education.

The Houston Federation of Teachers led the charge. President Zeph Capo says they will spend the time to focus on two main issues including funding.

“The state says that we are rich,” explained Capo. “However, if you ask any one of the teachers or even the students that are with us today they'll say they can't tell that from their classrooms.”

Per Capo, funds are not fairly allocated across the state.

“We are in a much higher ‘cost to educate’ area of the state than many of the rest of the districts and that is not taken into account.”

The Houston Federation of Teachers is also advocating against something President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy Devos are in favor of, the use of public funding for a voucher program to send students to private schools.

“Today we know the system is failing too many kids,” Betsy DeVos said at a recent CPAC meeting. “The education establishment has been blocking the doorway to reforms, fixes and improvements for generations.”

Supporters believe that parents should have more choices for their children’s education and that a voucher program would do that. However, from Capo’s perspective that’s wouldn’t be the case.

“It really is a tax break for the wealthy. What they will do is they will take away funding from the most needy students, from the students that we are trying to actually help get more resources and support to,” said Capo. 

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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