Thousands demand lawmakers restore billions to Texas schools

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SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE News

Posted on February 23, 2013 at 7:22 PM

AUSTIN-- People came from all over the state for the Save Our Schools Rally Saturday at the State Capitol.

The protesters are asking legislators to restore $5.4 billion in education funding, cut back on standardized testing and focus on the current public school system instead of vouchers and charter schools.

Parents at the rally say they fear more teachers will be cut if the money isn't restored. And they say Texas classrooms are already overcrowded.  

"We need to wake up and realize what's going on in our government and what's going on with our politicians and with our money that's being held hostage here in austin," said protester Rich Rutherford. 

Just before the Save Our Schools rally, on the other side of State Capitol, a much smaller rally took place with a different message.

These school choice supporters say the issue isn't money, it's a lack of options for parents. 

"Allow parents to leave a failing school, go to private school, charter school or another school district and take part of their tax dollars with them and put their child in an education environment where they're learning," explains the Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy, Talmadge Heflin. 

The group says providing more choices will increase competition and improve all Texas schools. 

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