What a rally against Gov. Corbett's education budget cuts lacked in numbers Friday, was more than made up for with passion.
Perhaps 100 people gathered outside School District headquarters to hear from education activists, former School Reform Commission chair Sandra Dungee Glenn, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan as well as parents and students.
They urged the crowd to call their elected officials to say Corbett's $1 billion in cuts for state public schools - which will mean a $292 million cut for Philadelphia - won't be tolerated.
"Just say no," Glenn said. "We need to be doing more for education, not less. Protect public education, protect our children."
Activist lawyer Michael Coard said that Corbett's drastic cuts will "increase my business" as a criminal defense attorney.
"Here you have a governor who is cutting school funding, but increasing prison funding," Coard shouted. "There's something wrong with that. That's why I call that: from failing to jailing."
Corbett's $27.3 billion budget presented to lawmakers Tuesday also slashed $644 million from higher education, including a more than 50 percent reduction for the 18 state-supported universities and colleges.
Anna Figueroa, a parent of a son at Fitzsimons High School and a grandparent of 10 children stood in the crowd wearing a "Parent Power" T-shirt.
"We do not want the governor to cut our budget because our kids will lose out," Figueroa said. "We don't need to fail our children."
The rally was sponsored by a coalition of groups known as Protect Public Education, which formed last month to lobby against the coming budget cuts.