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Madras Education Association organizes after-school rally to support fully funding schools.

PHOTO BY MARIA CROWLEY - Teachers, administrators, support staff, students and community supporters gather after school at Sahalee Park before the May 8 Madras March for Students. The event coincided with the Oregon Education Association's Day of Action to seek adequate and stable funding for schools.
As part of the statewide "Day of Action," Jefferson County educators and school supporters gathered May 8, at Sahalee Park for an after-school rally.

Wearing red T-shirts and carrying signs with messages such as "Classrooms are in crisis!" "Fully fund our schools," or "Class size counts," teachers, administrators, school staff and community members came together to show their support for increased funding for schools.

Although teachers from many schools across the state walked out of their classrooms to rally, in Jefferson County, educators met at the park at 3:30 p.m. for the Madras March for Students, and carried their messages from the park east on B Street to Fifth Street, where they turned north to display the signs to passing motorists.

PHOTO BY MARIA CROWLEY - Children participating in the rally, including Jose Reyes, center, and Mackenzie Grant, right, hold up signs.
"It was a great turn out," said Lenida Bilanovic, president of the Madras Education Association, who organized the rally, noting that teachers, administrators, parents, and students participated. "We had around 100 people who came out to the rally and marched with us to the four corners of the highways to show our support for fully funded public education. Everyone had a great time and we had a really positive outcome."

"I was very happy to see so many out with us," continued Bilanovic, a sixth grade science teacher at Jefferson County Middle School. "Now we're hoping that it will pay off for our students and that people will listen to the struggles that we've had and realize that our students deserve better!"

According to Dawn Hendrix, vice president of the Madras Education Association, the purpose of the rally was to ask for more funding for schools.

"There are been budget cuts to education for the last 30 years," she noted. "We want the best for our students and are asking for more funding to provide more support and programs."

"We stand in solidarity to show legislators that Oregon students deserve better," said Hendrix, a writing teacher at Jefferson County Middle School.

PHOTO BY MARIA CROWLEY - Teacher Lonnie Henderson, carrying a 'Fully Fund Oregon Schools' sign, waves to passersby, while other teachers and supporters stand along Fifth Street in downtown Madras.

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