Chesapeake students rally for school budget funding

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-12 17:18:48-04

Chesapeake, Va. - Chesapeake students are taking action to make sure their schools are getting the funding they need.

As Chesapeake City Council prepares to vote on the school budget Tuesday night, students are teachers are gearing up to rally against further budget cuts.

Students from all seven Chesapeake high schools all wore their school pride and showed up at Chesapeake City Hall on Tuesday evening to fight for change.

The rally was organized by student council leaders from all the schools. And even though many of the students are heading off to college in a few months, they're taking action to ensure younger students get the best education possible.

"It comes down to us not having the funds we need to have an effective education," says Deep Creek High School senior Armando Vega.

Though he's graduating, 17-year-old Vega is fighting to make sure future Chesapeake students get the education they deserve.

"It's not just about us," he says.

Chesapeake City officials have proposed a budget that is $5.6 million less than what the school board requested.

However, concerns over budget cuts are nothing new. Since 2009, the state and city combined have cut about $300 million in funding, according to city leaders.

And Vega says, as a student, he sees first hand what that does to the system.

"You see things that are broken inside the schools that are not going to get repaired. You hear that teachers have to dole out personal money to pay for class materials. You have a general feeling that you're just not getting the education you deserve as a student," he says.

Another big issue is employee raises. The city has budgeted for a two percent raise for full-time employees. Some are saying that's not enough, but students are hoping their cries for change will at least make that two percent stick.

Chesapeake City Council will vote Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.