Two Olney teachers rallying against education bills on special session agenda

OLNEY, TX (KAUZ) - Two Olney ISD teachers are headed to Austin, on July 17, to rally in front of the State Capitol alongside hundreds of other public educators a day before Governor Greg Abbott's special session begins.

Several education issues will be discussed during the special session including the addition of a voucher program that would help kids looking to transfer to private school.

The vouchers will allow parents to use state money, that usually goes public schools, to help pay for private school education.

The protestors, including the Olney teachers, are against the move especially since they say private schools do not follow the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) that benefits special education students.

"They are not required to offer all the services [special education students] may need such as speech pathology and occupational therapy," Sam Spurlock said.

Spurlock has been an educator for more than 38 years. He said he loves his job and wants to continue to help the children.

Spurlock and Dale Lovett, a teacher for 23 years, are members of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, an organization that serves all public educators.

The ATPE will be one of the many teacher organizations attending the rally.

Another issue Spurlock and Lovett are protesting is the proposed $1,000 raise for teachers. They said where the money comes from will hurt their students.

"They would either have to drop programs to come with a way to pay for it and students will pay the price," Spurlock said.

"When the state reduces support for public education, that puts more pressure on the school district and local classrooms," Lovett said. "We end up having to do more with less."

The teachers will return from the trip to continue preparing for the start of the school year. Classes for Olney ISD schools begin next month.

The rally will take place at 1:30 p.m. on the south steps of the Texas Capitol.

Here is a list of what else is on the special session agenda.

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