Dallas Teachers Lobby Lawmakers

Group of 300 caravaning to Austin

A group of North Texas teachers are spending their spring break petitioning state lawmakers for change.

More than 300 Dallas teachers, support personnel and retirees left DFW Monday morning on a caravan to the capitol.

"We're going because we're concerned about education in the state of Texas," said Cheryl Smith, a member of the Alliance American Federation of Teachers in Dallas.

The six busloads of people will join with about 1,000 other educators from across the state for a rally on the south steps of the State Capitol, before meeting with state repesentatives to voice their concerns.

"Things have changed a lot since I went to school, and I don't think they've been changing for the better," said Windolyn Mosley, a Grand Prairie small business owner and lobbyist for public education reform. "I want to go down and make sure Texas legislators know we are serious about making sure we're not just training our children to take the TAKS."

While testing reform is one issue teachers will address with lawmakers, retirement pensions and teacher pay top the list.  

"A lot of these folks that have dedicated their lives to the district want to continue to educate the future of America," said Alliance AFT Vice President George Rangel. "But they can only do it if they can pay the bills. If they can't, it presents a problem."

The American Federation of Teachers lobbies in Austin every legislative session. Organizers said the event draws a bigger crowd each year.

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