AUSTIN, Texas - More than 2,000 students, parents and educators from across Texas are letting lawmakers know they want choices when it comes to education.
It was not your typical field trip to the State Capitol but instead a unique lesson in the process for change. Bus after bus dropped school choice supporters off Friday morning. They all wore yellow scarves and many held signs with powerful messages.
"One of the important aspects of our rally is we are focused on all types of school options. Private schools, public schools, charter schools, virtual schools, magnet schools, home schools you name it and we support it," said Randan Steinhauser with the Texas School Choice Coalition.
Steinhauser helped organize Friday's rally by bringing together different organizations across the state.
Jacqueline Harrison made the drive from Houston. She's a nurse and her grandson is enrolled in a charter school which is making the difference she says for his education.
"We hope they hear our voices and our concerns for their education and are given much more thought and funds will become available," said Harrison.
"If we don't offer them something soon then we are going to be in big trouble. They deserve an equal education," said Joe Tenbrook who teaches at Austin Achieve.
Marisol Hernandez is one of his 6th grade students he brought to the rally.
"It's important for your education and your future so you can make it happy," said Hernandez about how much she loves her school.
Austin's rally is one of 11,000 events across the country for National School Choice Week.
Newly elected Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is advocating for reform. "I believe that when we give parents a choice we give students a chance," said Bush. "Too often school choice is viewed as anti-public school or anti teacher and nothing could be further from the truth," he added.
"The bottom line is one size doesn't fit all and we want parents to have options when it comes to how their child is being educated. Our goal is to have a resounding message to the legislators that it's time for school choice in Texas," said Steinhauser.
Lawmakers in both the house and senate have filed education bills for this legislative session.