AUSTIN - Thousands of people marched to the steps of the state Capitol today for the Save Our Schools Rally. They're asking legislators to restore billions of dollars to Texas schools.
The protesters are asking legislators to give back $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 whats going on in our government and whats going on with our politicians and with our money that's being held hostage here in Austin," says protester Rich Rutherford.
Just before the Save Our Schools rally, on the other side of the state Capitol, a much smaller rally took place with a different message. The school choice supporters say the issue isn't money, it's a lack of options for parents.
"To 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.