Teachers with Alliance/AFT (American Federation of Teachers) of Dallas picketed outside the Administration Office of the Dallas Independent School district before the board meeting on February 23. President Rena Honea (pictured) found that a lot of news reporters are following the dynamic work of her union. Dozens of Dallas teachers have already received layoff notices because the State Legislature cut education funding drastically last session. Many more are worrying about losing their livelihoods. The Dallas newspaper recently revealed that nearly half the workers in Dallas are only a paycheck or two away from living in poverty, so the prospect of more layoffs is chilling indeed.
A related issue is that several schools are slated to be closed in Dallas. Yet another issue is that DallasCity Council has apparently decided to put their authority behind the building of more private charter schools, which undermine public education. And, to top it off, the administration has recently added another 45 minutes of extra required time to every harried teacher's day.
Several members of Occupy Dallas joined the teachers on the picket line, then formed their own protest on the sidewalk when the teachers went into the School Board meeting. Passersby honked their car horns in support! The teachers are extremely grateful for the help.
The teachers recently won a battle to save a teachers' job. Joseph Drake was put on administrative leave in an attempt to intimidate the teachers. He got his job back and received an apology from a school board member after the Alliance/AFT took a public stand on his behalf.