East Texas teachers getting ready to fight for education

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Texas American Federation of Teachers lobbies it is tired of attacks on public education.

"Teachers are really seeing the effects of the $5.4 billion that was cut from public education in Texas in the 2011 session," said Jamie Womack of the AFT.

So thousands of teachers, parents and children will rally before the current session to restore funding, plus ask for more to cover growth.

"And so it's time for some things to change and the best way to get change is if those in that profession go and voice their concerns," Womack said.

AFT member Frank Paul is attending his first rally. A math teacher wants better protection for students and teachers.

"I think as far as safety and security goes we just want to make sure that is going to be accounted for when it comes time to budget," Paul said.

State accountability tests concern AFT member Laurie Williamson. The second-grade teacher believes they put undue pressure on teachers and kids.

"It's become more and more rigorous and I'm concerned about that being so challenging for the kids," said Laurie Williamson, a second-grade teacher at Raguet Elementary.

The restoration of pre-K funding and protecting teacher retirement are other issues of concern.

State legislators will receive their lessons on the topics come March 11.

Most regions of the state, including Lufkin and Nacogdoches, are planning bus trips to Austin. Anyone interested taking the trip should be at Lufkin Mall at 6 a.m. on March 11. The group will return the same day after a rally, lunch, and one on one meetings with legislators. All this is happening the first day of spring break.

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