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Students Take On School Budgets

By: Paige Lambrecht
By: Paige Lambrecht

It began with a march through downtown Madison on Saturday; more than 200 students fighting for their education.
And their message is clear - no funding, no future.
"Our education is a right and we should have the right to an adequate education that provides us with everything we need not just a basic education that will help is get by," says Germantown High School junior Maya Mazul.
This is all part of the first ever Youth Summit on Education.
The students came from all over Wisconsin as members of Youth Reclaiming our Communities.
"Youth ROC is a statewide network of urban, suburban and rural high school students committed to the youth movement around school financial reform," says high school senior and youth leader Montre'al Cain.
On Sunday, the students really got to work - meeting with state superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster to voice their concerns.
"Because they understand that if we don't adequately fund quality education in Wisconsin, they will not be able to meet the challenges of the future," says Burmaster.
"There's a lot of issues that no one knows about or haven't heard of before, like bad facilities, lack of health services, insufficient supplies, a lack of course options," adds Cain.
And students want to make it clear this activism is not just a fad, it's a movement, and they're not all talk.
Working with Burmaster, they formed an agenda on school finance that they'll take back to their schools and use to influence school board members and local taxpayers.
But Mazul says they also hope to influence the next group of activist students.
"Basically what we're hoping is everyone goes back and teaches their friends and gets more people involved - our numbers have grown to the hundreds, which is amazing because it started out with 13 people."
Youth ROC is a program of the Institute for Wisconsin's Future.
For more information, you can log on to their website, www.wisconsinsfuture.org


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