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Valentine L.O.V.E Rally for Public Schools at State Capitol

February 11, 2010

PHOENIX - A mass showing of love for teaching and education is set for Saturday at the state Capitol. Supporters of public schools are organizing the Valentine-themed event called L.O.V.E., or Lifting Our Voices for Education.

Joy Weiss, rally speaker and Arizona Teacher of the Year, hopes lawmakers and the governor will avoid further budget cuts to the educational basics, enabling the state to enjoy a bright economic future.

"What we need, and what the children deserve, are well-trained teachers, manageable class sizes, and the proper classroom materials. If the state can see that and do that, then the impact is going to be there."

Those attending the rally are being urged to make and bring valentine cards for the governor and legislators containing positive messages about public education.

Another rally speaker, Cave Creek businessman and school board member Mark Warren, hopes the cards will call lawmakers' attention to their obligation to the state's children.

"They're just a reminder that there are kids out here who need their support, and it sounds kind of mooshy, but they need their love. They need lawmakers to be worried about them, and we elected these guys to try and take care of them and provide that support."

Warren says strong schools are vital to growing jobs and the economy.

"We want stimulus and we want to bring new business to the state, but if our education's crashing, what business is going to relocate here?"

Organizers of the L.O.V.E. rally are expecting a crowd of several hundred.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ