Philadelphia Rally Against Education Cuts

Protesters say state budget cuts will hurt Philadelphia students

Several hundred protesters turned out Thursday for the Rally to Protect Public Education.

The group marched from school district headquarters to Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday, to speak out against Gov. Corbett’s proposal to cut education funding.

The protest was organized by members of Protect Public Education, a group of parents, students, teachers and community leaders.

The group says Philadelphia students stand to lose funding for enrichment programs, extra-curricular activities and summer school and could face crowded classrooms.

“Today education is your generation’s civil rights issue,” said Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (D-4th District).

In his Mar. 8 budget address, Gov. Corbett said Pennsylvania is facing a $4,16 billion deficit and “hard choices had to be made.” His plan for fiscal discipline calls for a 3 percent cut in government spending and no new taxes.

The Philadelphia School District says the plan would reduce funding to city schools by $293 million, a 10 percent reduction compared to the previous year.

Philadelphia school officials say the proposed budget would also eliminate state funding for full-day kindergarten, after-school remedial programs and college classes for gifted high school students.

“The Governor is asking middle class families to bear the brunt of these cuts, and I say ‘no,’ we all say ‘no.’ We want our children to be properly educated,” said Sylvia Simms, Parent Power Founder and President.

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