NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -- In the face of fiscal hardships, dozens of parents, students and community members are learning how to fight for their schools.
Earlier this month, more than 1500 people gathered at Columbia High School to discuss the fiscal peril facing the area's schools.
Building on the momentum from that rally, a follow-up event titled "A Call to Action" is being held Monday to teach the Capital Region how to advocate for its schools.
"I fear for my brother and sister, especially since they're younger than I am and I'm worried they're not going to have the same opportunities I was fortunate enough to have," said Olivia Jaquith, a senior at Niskayuna High School.
With the Niskayuna Central School District facing a $6 million budget gap for next year, Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio told NEWS10 they're being forced to consider a number of cuts that will have some very big impacts on students.
"Reductions in teaching staff, reductions in freshman athletics, reductions in funding for the school musical. It would make reductions for the first year, first time we believe really harm our students," said Salvaggio.
The Niskayuna Central School District is in a tough financial situation like many more across the state.
While the governor has proposed increasing total spending on education by 4 percent next year, education advocates say it's just not enough, explaining that many districts would actually receive less funding because of how state aid is distributed.
"Think of the students; think about all of the opportunities that we're getting. This money is not being wasted. It's very, very important, not just for right now but for the future. Children really are our future and this is where we're getting our start," said Jaquith.