Pasco teachers, students rally for public schools
A few dozen students, teachers and parents briefly rallied early Thursday outside Sand Pine Elementary School in Wesley Chapel, calling for better support of public schools.
They talked about their concerns that students are overtested while teachers are overworked, and how Florida governmental leaders don't adequately fund the system.
Some speakers noted that Pasco's school construction is not keeping up with population growth, causing crowding in some places and disrupting lives as officials create new attendance zones to help cope.
"We're trying to shine a light on public education," said United School Employees of Pasco president Kenny Blankenship, whose organization put together the event. "We're trying to get our members more engaged and active."
The rally was part of the national Reclaim Our Schools movement, which focuses on equality of education and resources for all children. The group calls access to good public schools a "critical civil and human right."
Blankenship said the participation of Sand Pine Elementary, which serves an upper-middle class community, shows that all schools -- even those less impacted by low socio-economics -- are impacted by decisions made in Tallahassee and want to take a stand.
He expected more activities to come in the future.