Fighting for Students

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM EDT

By WKBW News

February 1, 2013 Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM EDT

Albany, N.Y. (WKBW) - Western New York and school district officials across the state say they are on their own financial "fiscal cliff" and a group of educators are working to do something about it. They say without a fight, thousands of students will suffer.

School board members, teachers and parents backed an auditorium near Albany, Thursday night. This event was organized by Dr. Rick Timbs. They said governor Cuomo's proposed four percent increase to school aid is not enough. They said it will cause major layoffs, program cuts and lower graduation rates, especially in poorer areas like Buffalo and rural areas of Western New York.

This group is hitting the web to promote their message.

"I'm Dr. Rick Timbs. I'm on a mission to save our schools in New York State. While wealthy districts offer a top-level education, poor districts can barely meet the needs of their students. There is a huge divide between the have and have-nots. This is not fair. Graduates from schools who struggle will not be able to compete against their wealthier counterpart," Dr. Rick Timbs said on a YouTube advertisement.

Timbs is with the Statewide School Finance Consortium, an organization of more than 400 school districts working to increase state aid for schools. They had a huge showing, Thursday, of more than 1,000 people from districts across the state. Governor Cuomo said the state spends billions on education, more than other areas of the budget. He said the state can simple not afford to give more than a four percent increase in aid.

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