Educators, parents rally for education

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM (WBRC) - Dozens of educators and parents came together Monday to send a message to lawmakers in Montgomery:  protect education at all costs.

They hoisted signs and waved at drivers as a they stood in front of the Jefferson County Board of Education building in Birmingham. It was all part of a rally organized by the Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers.

"We're not fighting anybody," said Vi Parramore, the president of the JCAFT. "We're trying to build board base support for thinking outside the box, funding our schools in a different manner and really caring about children."

A week ago Monday, Governor Robert Bentley declared 3 percent proration on the state's education budget for fiscal year 2011.  That would mean a more than $4 million hit for Jefferson County schools alone.

Parramore says something has to change to keep education strong in the state.

"We're going to have to look at more stabilized funding for our schools. We can no longer depend on taxes and revenues that are up and down and down and up."

She says her group and others educational organizations want to work with law makers to find creative ways to cut costs and find other revenue streams.

"The legislators have an opportunity to do some really great thing for our schools or they can pass legislation that will hurt kids for the rest of their lives."

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