Parents, teachers rally for more influence on education funding

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This year’s legislative session is nearing the half-way point and a group of Arizona teachers and parents want more control over school funding.

They gathered at the state capitol for a special rally to grab the attention of lawmakers on Monday.

Teachers, parents and students became lobbyists and wrote out hundreds of postcards to drop off with legislative leaders.

“It helps to hear our voices. Sometimes they don’t for their own practical reasons but to remain silent is remain dead forever,” Anna Cicero, a teacher, said.

What this group wants is more say with legislators.

In year’s past, state leaders passed budget deals with little or no public input.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough says teachers and parents won’t be ignored.

“I think we do have an open budget process and it’s my goal to keep it open and invite everyone to participate,” Yarbrough said.

But he couldn’t make any guarantees.

“I don’t want to tell you something that doesn’t turn out to be true but I expect it to be different,” Yarbrough said.

With so much on the line for education, from funding cuts to teacher raises, Monday’s group wants lawmakers to know that they want a chance to be heard.

It’s already a big week for education.

Many education bills are expected to be voted on, including one that would steer millions away from public schools and into private schools.

-Originally published by AZ Family on 2/20/17 at 8:53 pm