The Second Austin 300
It was such a pleasure to meet you
at the NTTLB rally in Austin on Saturday, Feb. 18. The Austin American-Statesman
reported that 300 were in attendance. It was a smaller number than all would have wished but think of the significance!
We were part of the "Second Austin 300!" Austin's original colony began with the original 300 and look at what
Texas is today. Maybe with our "Second Austin 300" we can also make the impossible happen! We won't know if we
Listen to what Texas teachers are saying these days! These are some 'sound bytes' from
emails we've received.
Thank you for doing
this; it is way past time that
educators united to help themselves!
I am excited about this new group! We have been saying in our professional circles
that we needed to get politically active. It goes against our nature but you are making it easier for us. We are indebted to the people of action that
have established this new organization.
We as Texas
Teachers have to stand up for ourselves, because no one else is going to. We are blamed for all the ills of our society. Kids
are obese...its the teachers fault, get snacks out of school. The state budget is in the red....blame the teachers and cut
their benefits. The list is endless.
I am VERY
glad that this organization has been created. I am with TFT and receive their info all the time, and pass it on to
everyone I can. We need to do something about those in office that are against our schools and us. It's time to get them voted
out. I hope we can get this out to ALL the teachers in Texas,
so we can band together to show them that we are voters and can VOTE them OUT. The law makers seem to think that we are a
passive group of people. Let's get ACTIVE and show them who we are.
My wife and I worked a combined
62 years in Texas schools. She became ill and TRS-Care, AKA "TRS-Who Cares" medical benefits are so skimpy and
expensive that I had to get a job. Yep, we could use a few changes in the statehouse.
I've had it with a Republican run Texas Government and so have the teachers and administrators.
If the Republicans had really wanted to do so; they could have passed bills to finance public schools and tax both individuals
and businesses fairly. Now the fair haired boy of the House - Mr. Craddick - has said its time to quit and go home.
For once I agree! It takes a real bunch of idiots to meet this long and not find a solution to a problem they have known
for years they would have to take care of.
Yes! It's time they went home and stayed there. Educational
organizations and teachers as individuals should "Mark White " Texas Elected Officials. It can be done and
I hope we do it. We need legislators who will know the right thing to do and do it. All this bunch has been good
at is taking lobbyists money and bad advice.
The ballot box is the only thing we have left and its time to use
I am furious with our legislators and feel that if our teacher organizations would unite,
we could really get something done. Thank you for having such a wonderful idea.
I, too, am fed completely up with the
legislature and agree that there is no respect for teachers, retired or active, or there would have been positive things coming
out of Austin for education.
You are right. The legislature has
never respected educators. One reason is we do not vote as a group, and many of us do not register to vote. Some
who register do not vote. Registering to vote and going to vote is Life Work 101.
On the seventh talking point which begins......Increase the state's
contribution to the TRS fund.....Let us never forget that the legislature reduced their 8 percent contribution several years
ago. The stock market was booming and the TRS fund was doing well. The promise was they would raise it up again
when it was not doing so well with investments. The investments suffered setbacks and smaller growth just as did the
rest of the economy, but the promise to raise it back up never came to pass. They don't need to just raise from 6 percent,
they need to keep their promise. They took it away, promising to give it back when certain things happened. Those
things happened, and they now ignore their promise.
We need to remember that the group of educators who work with our
state's young people include bus drivers, cafeteria people, custodians, clerks, and everyone who touches the life of a child
during the school day. The TRS is called Teacher Retirement Fund. We need to remember who really is the teacher.
It is interesting that retired administrators benefit the very most from TRS and they see children far, far less than
does the cafeteria person cooking breakfast for those who come to the cafeteria, and they see parents far, far less than the
secretary or clerk in the principal's office.
One last thing....we actives and retirees must never again let others
manipulate us into being on opposite sides of any future fence. This happened in the last session. It was not
to our mutual benefit, but divide and conquer is a common tactic with people who have power over you. I am a retiree
and my pension will in all probability never be reduced. (Looks like it may never be increased either!) I remember as
an active hearing a retiree speak of the efforts made to bring retirement benefits up to a more desirable level. At
that time, he told us of retirees who were receiving $90 a month. His retiree group worked to change that, and those
of us who came on later benefited. The efforts TRTA makes to improve retirement benefits will affect future retirees
more than current ones. We need to think of ourselves, actives and retirees, as one package.
I think your organization as
well as the Texas Parent PAC is really going to let the people in Austin know that we hold many votes in our groups and some
of them will be voted out during the next election.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Finally, someone who has the
guts to stand up to our pitiful lawmakers of this state. I am a retired teacher, living month to month on a small pension
and at the present time, looking for employment. With all of the increases in health care, prescriptions, living, gas,
etc. I just cannot make it each month. The lawmakers in Austin continue to show their lack of respect for teachers and
education and up to this point, it seems that we have rolled over one too many times. I noticed however that they were
able to give themselves a 22% annuity increase and waste millions on special sessions. SHAME on them. I'm disgusted
with their attitude and will work to oust those who have shown little interest or respect for our profession.
I hope they are beginning to feel the disgust and
are hearing the voices of parents, teachers, and retirees loud and clear! Keep up the good work.