'Save Texas Schools' rally at Capitol draws thousands - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

'Save Texas Schools' rally at Capitol draws thousands from all over state

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"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign..."

Thousands from all over Texas marched down Congress Saturday morning to the State Capitol in support of giving back that $5.4 billion the state cut from education in 2011.

Scott McCown, Executive Director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities says the "Save Texas Schools March and Rally" is meant to send a message to lawmakers.

"The legislature keeps increasing standards and cutting funding. And those 2 things don't work together, the math doesn't add up," McCown said.

McCown hopes the schools can get their funding now -- not later.

"Yes, we're very much hoping that they won't wait on the Supreme Court to tell them the least they can do but that they'll step up and do the most they can do for our kids," McCown said.

The other side of the debate quite literally gathered on the other side of the Capitol...the Texas Public Policy Foundation feels the billions in budget cuts to schools only turned out to be around $500 million.

"They're doing just fine. The other side is demanding money. We're demanding results," said Arlene Wohlgemuth.

Wohlgemuth says they want parents to be able to choose where their kids go to school and not be binded by their zip code or their pocket-book.

"Those parents who see their students going to a failing school have very few options. Particularly if they don't have the income to be able to afford to go to a private school of their choice," she said.

Back on the other side...that's exactly what they don't want.

"We're here to help our public schools and to make sure that they're not privatized. We don't believe in charters. We don't believe in vouchers. We have a system that works and we want to make sure it's supported so that it can work to the best of it's ability," said Greg Polte from Dallas.

Polte and many others at the rally want standardized tests like STAAR to be a thing of the past.

"My wife's a school teacher and she couldn't be here today because she's teaching to the test so I am here to show support for her," Polte said.

"And then they pay companies like Pearson! Publishing companies that are multi-million dollar companies to make standardized tests for what? They make money! You know, companies make money, charter schools make money and the kids are the ones who suffer," said Save Texas Schools supporter Amy Fores.

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