Groups protest budget cutbacks

About 200 people from 12 public interest groups rallied at the Capitol on Friday while members of the Texas House debated the 2012-13 budget bill.

Protesters lit candles and carried coffins into the Capitol lobby to represent the state agencies that will have their funding cut.

Don Morris, president of Austin Community College’s chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said the proposed budget could lead to increased tuition, which would not impact college students equally.

“Its greatest effect will be on those who can least afford it and, ironically, those who need higher education the most,” he said.

Cinnamon Henley and Claudia Pepper, administrators at the Austin Odyssey School, said the bill would cut $450,000 out of their school’s budget and wipe out Odyssey’s savings by next August.

Henley, who knows the name of every student at the charter school, said they would respond by focusing on what makes Odyssey unique with less resources.