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Thousands attend ‘Put Kids First’ rally in Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. -- As a media specialist at a Richmond Elementary School, Thea Paul sees first hand the lack of resources for students and teachers.

"We have got to get our funding back, especially to support literacy," she said.

She was one of thousands who came together Saturday to rally to "Put Kids First."

"We've been underfunded, class sizes are being raised, we have a need for Pre-K, it's just been too long," said Meg Gruber, the President of the Virginia Education Association.

Gruber said they hope this movement will get the attention of lawmakers and the Governor to realize the importance of the funding needed.

"We're still being funded at 2000 per pupil level, that's a decrease of 16 percent," said Gruber.

Teachers and students from all over Virginia took part, marching from the Richmond Convention Center, to the State Capitol.

Gruber said the Commonwealth is ranked 41st in the country in K-12 pupil spending, a statistic that she and others believe needs to change.

"I really hope legislators will take notice of our presence, hear what we have to say and understand children are our future," said Paul.