AUSTIN, Texas -- With six days until the election, some candidates are counting on teachers coming out to the polls in high numbers in order to secure their seats.
• Texas spends about $2,300 less on each student than the national average
• There are more than 700,000 public school employees
Since there are more than 700,000 public school employees, not including retirees, that voting block could make a big difference.
Most teachers said Texas public schools are severely underfunded, and that classroom sizes are too large. It's these issues that brought teacher David DeLeon to the polls early, and why teacher Bianca San Miguel said election chatter has been a buzz in the teacher's lounge this election cycle.
"We're feeling it, the budget cuts impact us on a daily level," said San Miguel.
According the National Education Association, Texas spends about $2,300 less on each student than the national average.
"Kids are suffering right now, and our public schools are hurting. And it's a direct result of the Texas State Legislature refusing to deal with school finance for going on almost 10 years," said Ray McMurrey with the Texas American Federation of Teachers.
Several teacher groups endorsed the Democratic candidate running for Lt. Governor, Mike Collier, over the Republican incumbent.
"He's made education the center point, the center piece of his campaign. So, we know he has the willingness to solve this," said McMurrey.
Texas Parent PAC, a bipartisan support group for public schools, endorsed two statewide candidates for the first time ever. But Texas Republican Party Chairman James Dickey said the party's views reflect a majority of Texans.
“Texas Republicans believe that parents, not the government, have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children. This is a crucial part of our platform,” said Dickey.
San Miguel said her students deserve more inside the classroom.
"If I could get the moon, if we could get it in the budget, I'm sure we could fit it in there somehow, I'd give it to them immediately," said San Miguel.