Tag Archives: rally

A Single Voice

…Can’t do much. But if everyone who supports public education speaks up, we can make a difference.
I have to believe that because every bit of research shows that education is the way out of poverty. It was for me.
The move from poverty to middle class and even to upper class is what makes the United States different. It’s what makes us special. It’s why people spent weeks on ships in horrible conditions and lived in squalor holding fast to the dream that they too could be anything they wanted if they were willing to work hard.
Kill the public school, and you kill that dream.
This budget crisis isn’t going anywhere if the people in Austin don’t change the way they do business. They’ve created this problem. They need to fix it.
Today, they’re passing the buck. That can’t continue.
But it will if we don’t speak up.

Don’t forget the Save Texas Public Schools rally!
To show support for Texas public schools, teachers and WFISD, a non-partisan Pro-Public Education Rally will be held THURSDAY, April 14 from 8-9 in the Memorial Stadium parking lot. Please bring a flashlight or cell phone with light.
If you would like to speak at the event contact Mary Beth Lee: marybeth@marybethlee.com
Who’s invited? Everyone who believes in a quality Texas Public School System, public school faculty and staff members, parents and students.
Feel free to bring signs showing support for public education.
For more information, feel free to contact me marybeth@marybethlee.com

WHY

Save Texas Public Schools Rally
Memorial Stadium
Thursday April 14 8-9(ish)

A good friend asked me why we were rallying, what we hoped to accomplish. I thought I’d share my answer here:
What we hope to accomplish: to give people the chance to show they support public education, and to do so before the Senate votes.
What will the outcome be: I don’t know. I was in Austin March 12 with over 11000 others marching. We were there to make our voices heard. If we don’t try, we won’t ever know.
But I do know public education is essential to the United States. It leads to the American Dream. Without it, there is no escape from poverty.
I know teachers usually don’t rally. (We gripe to each other, but we don’t say enough is enough.) Right now I’m hearing a lot of complaints in the community. People believe Rick Perry when he says public schools are the problem, especially when we don’t speak up to say he’s wrong.
Public education is at risk here. It’s real and it’s ugly and if we don’t speak up, we’ll be able to watch it die without ever even attempting to fight.
I can’t sit back and do nothing.

Why I’m Marching

For years I’ve said teachers like to complain, but they don’t ever want to DO anything about it.
Welcome to the 2011 budget crisis.
In the last six weeks, I’ve heard people all over the state call my fellow teachers and me part time employees who whine all the time about how little they’re being paid.
My response: We’re not part time employees. We work full time for close to 10 months a year. Yes, we have summers off. We don’t get paid for those summers off. Our paychecks for nine months are spread out over 12. I worked 64 hours at school last week. That doesn’t include the weekend I spent with students at a UIL academic meet. I average 50 hours of week at school. I’m not alone. Don’t get me started on the load English teachers take home with them. Next year that work load will increase astronomically as our class sizes increase.
I’ve heard that Texas teachers in particular are responsible for the budget crisis. To that, I say check out the wfisd.net homepage. It explains the crisis fully. Needless to say, teachers are not to blame.
I’ve heard I get all sorts of amazing benefits as a teacher, so I should just stop griping. I don’t know what benefits people are talking about. Yes, I have health insurance. It’s expensive, and I pay co-pays and try to find in-network doctors to see. If I have an emergency, I’m out of luck. No urgent care facility within 100 miles is covered on my insurance. The Texas state government has already warned I’ll be paying more next year.
Someone actually said teachers wanted something for nothing when it came to retirement. I have to work 20 years to get partial retirement, 30 for somewhat full retirement, and that retirement is funded at a terrible rate. My retired friends haven’t seen a cost of living increase in over 10 years, and now, the government’s cutting what they contribute, which is very little already. AND we don’t get social security, even if we paid into it.
Texas schools are in danger, folks. Real danger. What that translates into for me is our KIDS are in danger. They’ve been tested to death, and next year, they’ll be tested even more, by over worked, under paid teachers who are taking the brunt of state budget cuts by people in office who don’t have a clue what we do in the classroom even though I think they must’ve spent some time in the classroom in the past. They must not remember what it was like. In the last handful of years I’ve watched more and more unfunded mandates take away from our school districts, and it’s time I speak up.
One voice is nothing. But if every teacher in Texas speaks up, we can’t be ignored.
Will marching change anything? I have no idea. I don’t think Governor Perry cares a thing about public education. It seems to me he’s all about charter schools, vouchers, big business and re-election.
By marching though, I’ll know when the changes come that I made my voice heard. That I said enough is enough. That I fought for my kids.
Save Texas Schools…before it’s too late!
I got this from a story on Huffington Post, and I loved it!
As the poet Shelley wrote, that “We are many, they are few.” But a muscle doesn’t mean a damn thing unless you flex.