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Education Nation

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Teachers Continue Budget-Cut Protest at Capitol

By SOMMER INGRAM and Ellen Goldberg
|  Monday, Mar 14, 2011  |  Updated 11:47 PM CDT
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High School Seniors Rally Against Teacher Cuts

Dane Tessler

Save or Schools Rally in Austin

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Teachers: It's Raining; Let's Use Rainy Day Fund

Hundreds of Dallas teachers attend a rally in Austin protesting against more than $10 billion in proposed education cuts.
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More than a thousand teachers protested Monday at the state Capitol against more than $10 billion in proposed cuts to public education.

A high school marching band started the rally, and protesters carried blue umbrellas to signify the need to spend the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Lawmakers must find a way to close a budget shortfall of up to $27 billion, and a draft budget could lay off 100,000 teachers. That's about a third of the state's public school teachers.

Monday's rally led by the American Federation of Teachers followed a similar march on the Capitol on Saturday.

More than 5,000 parents, students and teachers called on lawmakers to tap the $9.4 billion Rainy Day fund and end a dispute over $883 million in federal stimulus funds.

Hundreds of Dallas teachers attended Monday's event in Austin. The 12 charter buses returned to Dallas at about 8 p.m.

"It let me know that I am not alone in the challenges I am facing and there's parents and staff all over the state that are in it with me," teacher Landeia Phillips said.

"Our futures are on the line, too, because we are subject to be laid off and not have a job," said Willie Houston, another teacher. "That's scary; that's scary."

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