Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Celebration Rally Showcases Three Public School Districts

Taxpayers, parents and educators in three local school districts will rally in support of the state’s children asking lawmakers to Make Education A Priority by adequately funding public schools. The Our Schools, Our Voice Celebration Rally – open free of charge to the public – will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 7 in the main gym of Grapevine High School, 3223 Mustang Drive.

Officials from the three districts organizing the event hope that rallies will be held in regions all across the Lone Star State as the 83rd Texas Legislature  continues to meet to consider the state’s budget. The three organizing districts are Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, and Keller Independent School Districts.

Texas students and teachers have already felt the impact of $5.4 billion less in state funding as a result of legislative cuts. Rally organizers say they hope to send a clear message to lawmakers by rallying constituents to get educated about school finance, show their pride in Texas public schools and actively engage their local lawmakers. Members of the audience will be encouraged to tweet messages using the hashtag #supportTXschools.

The message, organizers say, is simple: “Stay Informed, Stay Involved and Become Advocates for Public Education.”

The event will be emceed by Lewis Johnson, an Olympic sports analyst who is a taxpayer and parent in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. Johnson leads a line-up of speakers to include Frank Bliss of Southlake Town Square and Nika Maples, 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year from Keller ISD. Parents representing each district will also address the crowd. Short educational videos and student performances will cap off an evening of celebrating public education.

The message for Austin lawmakers is clear:

  • Provide ADEQUATE FUNDING – At 45th in the nation in per pupil allocations, Texas schools are drastically underfunded. Public schools need adequate funding to meet the increased accountability standards;
  • Give back REAL LOCAL CONTROL –return to a direct democracy where locally elected school board members make the decisions that affect the children and communities they serve; and
  • FUND MANDATES – stop imposing requirements on local school districts without providing adequate funding to carry out those mandates.

Rally attendees are expected to be wearing Our Schools, Our Voice t-shirts, sold to help fund the rally. Information tables and a special website will be available following the rally. Representatives from each district, as well as the event speakers, will be available for questions at assigned areas in the lobby.