Posted at: 03/05/2013 12:07 PM
Updated at: 03/05/2013 6:03 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
ALBANY - The Cohoes High School Marching band led a parade from the Armory down Washington Avenue Tuesday.
Young musicians like drum majorette Stephanie Osterhout, called for more state aid to education, saying she's seen what budget cuts mean in her school.
"There were cutbacks. Our music teachers got cut back they had to get rid of one of the teachers at the middle school and they got rid of our chorus teacher at the high school," Osterhout said.
Hundreds of students from across the state paraded behind the band to the Capitol, waving signs and chanting; certain that the 4.4-percent increase in aid proposed by the Governor, will mean further cuts in staff and programs.
"You can't keep raising a bar while pulling the rug out and continually cutting funds," said Assemblywoman Pat Fahy. "We can't keep increasing class sizes to this degree. You can't eliminate AP programs."
The Alliance for Quality Education organized the rally, asking for an additional 350-million- dollars in aid.
If not, several Albany High School seniors at the rally feared their own dreams to become teachers through a special training program called Educational Explorations, will fall to the budget axe.
"It's scary because I don't know what the future holds for teachers, you know," said Serafina Bell, a student.
Rally-goers hoped to make their case to lawmakers, who are expected to release their own budget bills in the Senate and Assembly over the next week.