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Public Education Supporters Protest Under Capitol Dome

Protestors in the Texas State Capitol this afternoon.
Photo by Hannah Jones for KUT News
Protestors in the Texas State Capitol this afternoon.

Dozens of teachers, parents, students and public education advocates protested underneath the Capitol Dome today, urging state lawmakers to spend more of the Rainy Day Fund to reduce cuts to school districts.

“We have got to keep making noise, because it’s raining and that’s an ugly bill,” Louis Malfaro with the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers told the crowd. “So we say, ‘Fund our schools or don’t come back!’”

Protestors repeated the chant and it echoed throughout the cavernous rotunda.

A House committee voted along party lines Saturday to approve an education spending plan that cuts $4 billion from what school districts are owed under existing formulas.  The full House is expected to take up the bill this week.  

The Texas Tribune’s Morgan Smith reports on several pieces of legislation that have renewed life during the special legislative session called last Tuesday by Gov. Rick Perry. The mandate relief bills, in particular, are designed to give school districts more power to cut costs by unilaterally reducing teacher salaries, furloughing employees, and increasing class size caps.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at nbernier@kut.org. Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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