Students Protest Potential Budget Cuts

March 27, 2014 Updated Mar 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 27, 2014 Updated Mar 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM EDT

SANBORN (WKBW) School budget woes continue to plague many districts across Western New York, with many facing tough decisions when it comes to cuts. And as districts look to balance their books, it's not just parents speaking out. Students at Niagara Wheatfield High School protested Thursday morning, standing up for themselves to make their voices heard.

A group of a few dozen became a group of a few hundred students, all chanting "Save Our School" Thursday morning, protesting against proposed budget cuts that could affect sports, music, and elective programs at the school. All could be on the chopping block as the district looks to budget their next academic year.

"My main idea was to show the politicians in Albany that we are willing to fight and we know exactly what's going on. And we're not going to stop until we get exactly what we want," protest organizer Andrew Zuccari, who is in 11th grade.

Several parents also attended the rally to help save programs, standing behind the students and their cause.

"I think it's everything. The overall education experience for these kids. They're saying save our school, they're not saying save my program or save my music education. They're saying our entire school is affected by this change," parent Robert Woodcock said.

"You've got the athletes, you've got the artists, you've got a ton of teachers that are on the verge of losing their jobs if all this gets cut and we can't let that go," Zuccari added.

Even with an increase in taxes of nearly 5% the district still is facing a $2.3 million budget gap, in part because of a decline in state funding. The result is deep cuts.

"There's that metaphor of cutting the fat. Well we're down to the internal organs. So it's making that level of decision," Superintendent Dr. Lynn Marie Fusco said.