Denison teachers rally in Austin

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AUSTIN, TX -- More than 12,000 people marched their way up to the Capitol to rally for better public education today. A group of Texomans joined the fight.

After nearly a five hour bus ride, with signs in tote, a group of Denison teachers, students and parents joined thousands in Austin, Texas in an effort to save the state's schools.

"I'm looking for change. I'm looking to stand up for what we believe in for Texas schools and for our children," DISD teacher Tamara Banks said.

"I'm just glad the teachers are making their voices heard," DISD teacher Terry McKearan said.

Thousands marched 18 blocks in the "Save Texas Schools" rally, right up to the front steps of the Capitol. These teachers are here at the Capitol lobbying against budget cuts, vouchers to private schools and for a better testing system.

"When you look at Texas, second in population but 45th in dollars per student, we can do better than that," McKearan said.

In 2011, the Legislature approved to cut $5.4 billion from public education. Those cuts prompted more than 600 school districts to sue. A judge recently ruled that funding was inadequate, and unfairly distributed. The state is appealing.

Educators also believe the testing system is flawed, and that it is harming the learning environment.

"It's not that testing is bad, it's just how it's gone about. We spend 30 percent of our day, in our year testing. And we're taking away from the quality of education we could be giving students," DISD teacher Shonna Voi

"It's time to demand as much from this legislature as we do from a child."

"We've had awesome speakers really getting us pumped up," Voight said.

Denison kindergarten teacher, Shonna Voight, got the school's group to the march. She, along with many others, became emotional during the rally.

"It was almost surreal, the feeling that I had. Like 'am I really doing this? Is this really happening?' And it really is," she said. "Hopefully our voices will be heard. And they saw us coming in the droves and the thousands that are here and hopefully they'll listen to what we have to say."

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