Teachers speak up at State Capitol

Mar. 12—AUSTIN — More than 200 educators from across Texas, including several from Corsicana, walked the halls of the Texas Capitol in Austin Feb. 21 to meet with their legislators and advocate on behalf of public education, their students, and their fellow educators.

The educators visited Austin as part of ATPE at the Capitol, a two-day training and advocacy event hosted for its members by the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the leading voice for Texas educators and the state's largest educator association with local units and members in nearly every corner of our state.

"It's an honor to represent Corsicana as educators," said Brooke Anna Roberts and Julleen Bottoms, teachers and ATPE members from Corsicana. "Public schools are responsible for educating the majority of Texas children of all ability levels. Great things are happening in our classrooms, but we need support from our legislators not voucher programs which funnels money to private and charter schools which play by a different set of rules. We will get nowhere with divisive rhetoric aimed at distorting partnerships between educators and parents. We're here to share the positives Corsicana ISD offers our community."

As the single largest line item in the state's budget, public education and its funding have increasingly become a target for politicization. Educators gathered to push back on proposed voucher legislation designed to extract state tax dollars from our public schools and drive a wedge between voters and public education.

With the growing threat to public school funding and political rhetoric stoking the embers of a burgeoning culture war, educators are more concerned than ever for the futures of their students, their own careers and of public education in Texas.

"The discussions surrounding school safety, vouchers, teacher compensation , and access resources for their students have fired up teachers and ATPE members from across Texas to attend ATPE at the Capitol this year," ATPE Executive Director Shannon Holmes said. "ATPE at the Capitol is one of the many ways that ATPE empowers educators to advocate for their students and the public education profession."

For more information about ATPE's efforts at the Capitol, visit TeachtheVote.org.