Western New Yorkers Fight School Budget Cuts

March 9, 2011 Updated Mar 9, 2011 at 9:21 AM EDT

By By Jaclyn Asztalos

March 9, 2011 Updated Mar 9, 2011 at 9:21 AM EDT

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to cut $1.5 billion from school districts across the state, including here in Western New York. Now, teachers, parents and students are fighting his plan.

There will be about 1,000 people gathering in Albany to protest the cuts. Sixty people from Buffalo loaded onto a bus to participate in the march, Wednesday morning. They are demanding the Governor and other legislators extend the tax on the wealthy. This is known as the "millionaire tax" which is a surcharge on New Yorkers who make more than $200 thousand a year.

The tax brings in more than $5 billion a year but will expire at the end of 2011. Those against the cuts are trying to convince Governor Cuomo that taxing these people will help students get the funding and education they deserve.

Governor Cuomo said he must cut money across the board, including education, in order bridge the $10 billion gap in funding across the state. He said the schools have enough stimulus money left over to provide a cushion for next year. The Governor is also proposing to cap superintendent salaries, saving the state about $15 million.

Governor Cuomo said these cuts would not come from within the classroom. He is looking to cut services including transportation, food services and facility maintenance.