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Dallas Teachers Converge on State Capitol

By BJ Austin

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-826020.mp3

Dallas, TX – More than 300 Dallas teachers and school employees are in Austin today. KERA's BJ Austin says they're lobbying lawmakers to put federal stimulus money into the classroom.

Rena Honea, president of the teacher group Alliance/A-F-T is leading the Dallas delegation. She says if lawmakers think education is okay, teachers have another story to tell them. Honea says the federal stimulus package could give state lawmakers the opportunity to do something concrete to help schools and teachers reach new goals .

Honea: The legislators, if they're going to insist that something take place in the schools, then they need to fund it correctly to see that teachers and employees have the materials and the time, and everything that's needed to do what they're asking.

Hobie Hukel, with Alliance/A-F-T, wants to see stimulus money put into Pre-K programs - so young children won't already be "behind" when they get to kindergarten and first grade. More teachers from Dallas will descend on Austin Thursday. They'll also press lawmakers to funnel federal stimulus money into the classroom.