More than 2000 Boston Public School students staged a powerful walkout to protest against planned budget cuts that could affect individual schools across the district.
“We are the future of this country,” one student speaker told the Boston Globe. “How dare they take away our education when they want us to be well-rounded students.”
The schools face an up to $50 million budget deficit for the 2016-2017 fiscal year as costs keep rising and state funds keep declining.
What’s more, the multi-million shortfall could affect teaching jobs, extracurricular activities including gym class as well as music and arts classes.
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“We’re losing our Japanese class. We’re losing somebody in the Math Department, somebody in the Guidance Department, and I think there was one more…,” explained Simon Mariano, a freshman at the Snowden International High School.
While reassuring the total figure might be lesser than $50 million, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said the city is working to close the budget deficit and urged students not to skip school in protest.
“I would much prefer the students not march, walking out of school,” he told WBZ. “I think they should stay in school, but the fact that it’s happened and they’ve done it, I commend them for their advocacy.”
“I’d love to see who’s behind the walkout,” he added, according to the Globe. “Whoever’s behind it, I hope they start to feed the young students in our city with accurate information and not misguided information.”
The Boston School Committee is expected to vote on the new budget on March 23.