MERCER COUNTY, Pennsylvania - There were protests in Pennsylvania Saturday over the governor's proposed budget.
The rain didn't stop more than one hundred fifty men, women and students in a show of solidarity outside the Mercer County Courthouse. They were protesting the cut of about 1.2 billion dollars to education proposed by Governor Tom Corbett. "You just can't balance the budget on the backs of the working people in the country or in the state," said Chaz Rice, Chair of the Mercer Democratic Committee.
The protesters carried signs saying "Care about your educators, they care for your children." and "Billions for gas, none for class." "Marcellus shale gas drillers pay nothing, were the only state in the nation where they pay nothing, and you're going to cut education by a billion dollars," said Marcus Schlegel, Pennsylvania State Education Association Representative.
Teachers, members of the building trades, public employees, people in the community, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, were invited to take a stand against Governor Corbett's proposal to slash education funding.
Teachers say the proposed cuts to districts in the region are drastic and will hurt children. "What the budget is trying to do is to eliminate testing along with education cuts. Because they don't want people to see the impact the budget cuts will have on their children," said Becky Lopuh, Cranberry elementary teacher.
But the budget is not a done deal; the deadline for passage is July first. "We're hoping our elected officials are going to listen to the current voice of the people," said Judy Hines, who has been teaching for 35 years.
People who are standing united saying a cut to education is taking ten years of educational progress backwards.